Gap Inc. has named Reliance Retail Ltd. as its official retailer across all channels in India. The long-term franchise agreement will allow Reliance to introduce Gap’s latest offerings through a mix of exclusive brand stores, multi-brand store expressions and digital commerce platforms. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“We look forward to growing the Gap business across key international markets,” said Adrienne Gernand, Managing Director of International, Global Licensing and Wholesale at Gap Inc. in a statement. “Partnering with regional experts, like Reliance Retail in India, allows us to deliver our relevant, purpose-driven brand to customers around the globe, while continuing to diversify our business portfolio through our partner-based model.”
Reliance Retail calls itself India’s largest fashion destination, boasting 1,900 Reliance Trends stores under various banners, and also operates the JioMart online grocery business that serves more than 200 cities. Altogether, the company has 150 million customers and operates in the fashion, lifestyle and consumer electronics verticals.
Gap’s previous attempt to enter the India market didn’t pan out; the retailer terminated its deal with a unit of Arvind Fashions in 2020, when strict lockdowns brought store traffic down to a trickle, according to Reuters.
The trend of Gap working with franchisees that have local expertise was first seen in Europe. The retailer announced in July 2021 that it would be closing its 81 UK and Ireland stores and seeking franchise partners for its stores in France and Italy.