Shops set to open by end of this year
Fashion chain Gap is to expand its international presence with franchise agreements in Saudi Arabia and Turkey for more than 100 Gap and Banana Republic stores.

The retailer intends to open about 90 Gap stores and 20 Banana Republic outlets in these countries with franchise partners Fawaz Alhokair in Saudi Arabia and Fiba Holding in Turkey by 2012.

The first Gap stores will be open by the end of this year and the first Banana Republic stores are expected to open by next spring.

Gap senior vice-president of international strategic alliances Ron Young said: 'Both Saudi Arabia and Turkey represent natural markets for Gap. Each of these countries has a strong, steadily growing economy and consumers in these markets have a great interest in iconic apparel brands such as ours.

'In addition to strong operational expertise and a deep understanding of their local customer bases, Fawaz Alhokair and Fiba Holding both have track records of successfully introducing well-known fashion and apparel brands to international markets.'

The group directly operates Gap stores in six countries and Banana Republic stores in three. Today's announcement follows previously announced franchise agreements to open Gap and Banana Republic stores in Bahrain, Indonesia, Kuwait, Malaysia, Oman, Qatar, Singapore, South Korea and the United Arab Emirates.