Gap’s Indian franchisee plans to open 17 shops by month-end

Arvind Lifestyle Brands, Gap’s master franchise in India, on Monday said it will open 17 Gap shop-in-shops through multi-brand retailers by the end of the month, signalling the US lifestyle brand’s strategy for expansion into tier 2 and 3 markets in the country.

Parag Dani, Gap’s business head at Arvind Lifestyle Brands said Kapsons, Iconic India and All That Jazz would be among the multi-brand retailers.

This is the first time Gap is introducing shop-in-shop format in India. Gap, which entered India three years ago with store sizes of about 11000 square foot, has now decided to reduce the space of some existing and future outlets to 4500-5500 sqare foot.

The newer store-in-store will be of three formats, which will offer Gap products either for the whole family, or for adults, or only for kids. These formats will be launched in Jammu, Amritsar, Ludhiana, Patiala, Chandigarh, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Bhopal, Bhubaneshwar and Ranchi, besides the existing Gap markets of Pune, Noida, and New Delhi.

Dani said the expansion will ensure that more people are able to experience Gap’s American styles in their towns. Arvind operates 11 standalone Gap stores in the National Capital Region, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Pune, Chennai and Indore. Four standalone stores, meanwhile, would come up in the next six months, he said.

“Sometimes, it is not viable to put up a store first in smaller cities. Therefore, put up shop-in-shops that costs less and the penetration in the state becom far easier,” a person familiar with Arvind Lifestyle’s plans said. He said Gap is also in talks with Shoppers Stop for a similar deal.

“We are in conversation with all partners and it remains to be seen how the talks materialize or pan out over the next few months” Dani said. Shoppers Stop declined to comment.

Vipin Kapoor, managing director of Chandigarh-based Kapsons, which sells Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein, Gant, US Polo and Nautica, among other brands that are marketed by Arvind in India, said the company will open eight Gap shop-in-shops in the next four days at its outlets in Chandigarh, Jalandhar, Amritsar, and Ludhiana, among other cities.