By  on June 14, 2007

Gap Inc. said Wednesday it will boost its overseas fleet with two new franchise partners signed on to launch Gap and Banana Republic stores in Saudi Arabia and Turkey.

Over the next five years, the franchise partners — Fawaz Alhokair Group in Saudi Arabia and Fiba Holding A.S. in Turkey — plan to open a combined total of approximately 90 Gap stores and 20 Banana Republics in their respective countries by 2012.

The first Gap stores will open in each country by the end of this year, and the first Banana Republic stores are expected to open in each country by spring 2008.

"Both Saudi Arabia and Turkey represent natural markets for Gap Inc. to expand its international presence," Ron Young, senior vice president of international strategic alliances for Gap Inc., said in a statement. "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."

Gap is counting on its new partners' local operational expertise, and will provide the Gap and Banana Republic clothing and accessories. Each partner will hold exclusive rights to operate Gap and Banana Republic stores in their respective countries.

"Fawaz Alhokair Group and Fiba Holding A.S. both have track records of successfully introducing well-known fashion and apparel brands to international markets," Young said.

Gap previously announced franchise agreements to open Gap and Banana Republic in Bahrain, Indonesia, Kuwait, Malaysia, Oman, Qatar, Singapore, South Korea and the United Arab Emirates.

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