The San Francisco-based company, which has 3,100 stores worldwide under the Gap, Old Navy and Banana Republic brands, has signed a lease on a store at the redevelopment of the Dickins & Jones store in London’s Regent Street.
Banana Republic will join H&M, Nokia and Armani Exchange at the Shearer Property Group and Delancey scheme, where zone A rents average £450.
The freeholder, the Crown Estate, was instrumental in attracting Banana Republic. Its Regent Street head David Shaw said: ‘Banana Republic is a fantastic retail concept.’
Gap said the store, which will be the first Banana Republic in Europe, was ‘a logical extension of the Banana Republic brand into new markets. As with recent Banana Republic stores opened in Japan and Canada, the UK offers yet another appealing market opportunity for Gap Inc’.
Gap’s European president Stephen Sunnucks said of the move into the UK: ‘With its affinity for fashion and luxury products, the United Kingdom has the potential to be a strong market for Banana Republic, and our customers in Europe have expressed a great deal of interest in us bringing the brand here.’
Gap has been suffering from two years of slumping sales and two days ago parted company with its chief executive Paul Pressler after a dismal Christmas sales period.
Pressler's departure after four years at the helm comes as Gap considers a possible sale. This month it emerged that the company had hired Goldman Sachs to examine strategic alternatives.