Gap Moves South

By the year 2014, Gap is planning on opening about 30 stores in the Latin America region. 

The vice president of strategic alliances, Stefan Laban, revealed this plan at the same time that the company had opened its first location in Mexico…. 10,000 square feet no less in Mexico City’s Interlomas Mall.  The location includes a Gap, GapKids, and babyGap collections.

Next up on the southern bound train is a new store in Mexico City’s Atizapan Mall, followed by Satellite quarter in October, as well as Guadalajara (the third largest city in Mexico).  If everything goes according to plan, then there will be at least 6 new branches opening in Mexico alone.

Mexico has now lifted the previous 10-year punitive duty with all Chinese imports, so Gap is now able to import all of their merchandise without any additional taxation or boundaries.

“We could not bring baby products and our full range because of the duties,” says Laban. “Now Mexican consumers will be able to get the same products available in London, Paris and New York, except for a few items that will be localized.”

With the company developing a solid foundation in Mexico, Brazil is the next big step in the growth plan.

“Brazil is the big rock in Latin America, but it’s also a challenging market,”

Part of the reasoning for so much attention to Brazil is the large growth of the middle class recently as well as quality economic growth.  With these two countries, Gap hopes to continue on into Colombia, Chile and Uruguay.

In Novemeber Gap will open two new locations in Panama City, Panama as well as Vina del Mar, Chile.  By 2013 there will be five more n Colombia, and two in Uruguay.

While opening this many locations will certainly not turn profits quickly, in the long run it will be a solid investment in the future of the company.

Photo Credit: WWD