Next to operate Gap brand in Britain, in-store and online
Gap may have closed its physical stores in the UK, but now the American casualwear giant has said that the brand will be available in Britain and Ireland in a new deal with Next, the omnichannel retailer that's sweeping all before it.
It marks the latest in a series of deals that Next has done with third-party brands as it continues to grow its online ops and invest in its physical stores.
The deal is a joint venture that will see Next hosting Gap branded concessions at selected physical locations as well as operating Gap’s e-commerce business via the Next Total online platform.
Next will have a 51% stake in the JV with Gap owning 49%.
It's an interesting move for the two companies with Next having consistently shown itself to be one of the most forward-looking and best run retail businesses in the British Isles in recent years. Gap meanwhile, despite offering a range of popular products, has struggled with its physical store chain and found itself in an almost permanent cycle of discounts.
This culminated in its decision this year to exit the British and Irish markets apart from its online operations.
Gap said the new deal lets it operate in a "more efficient partner model" and benefit from the undeniably strong digital expertise that Next has.
It added that it would allow it to “meet our customers in UK and Ireland where they are shopping now”.
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