Gap is to open its first Italian store in Milan this year, with another planned for Rome next year.

The retailer will open Gap and Banana Republic stores side by side on Corso Vittorio Emanuele in Milan’s shopping district; the exact launch date has yet to be revealed. Each of the stores will be wholly owned and operated by Gap using the company’s existing European teams and distribution infrastructure.

Last week, Gap posted a 14% rise in full-year group net earnings to $1.1bn (£737.3m). Net sales fell 2.3% to $14.2bn (£9.5bn) while comparable store sales decreased 3%. This year the group intends to launch its first Gap store in China and will expand Banana Republic in Europe.