GAP’S NEW DEAL: Gap Inc. on Tuesday said it signed a franchising agreement with the Marinopoulos Group to bring the Gap and Banana Republic to Greece, Romania, Bulgaria, Cyprus and Croatia. The first Gap store is expected to open in Greece this fall, with the first Banana Republic to follow by spring 2009. Marinopoulus, a major retail and industrial group based in Greece, has already partnered with Marks & Spencer, Starbucks, Carrefour and LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton subsidiary Sephora. “The Marinopoulos Group has a successful track record of introducing well-known retail and apparel brands in these markets,” Ron Young, senior vice president of international strategic alliances for Gap Inc., said in a statement. Over the past few years, Gap Inc. has arranged other franchise agreements for Gap and Banana Republic in 12 other countries.
EXIT AT LOEHMANN’S: Fred Forcellati, Loehmann’s vice president of advertising and creative, has left the retailer. The 67-store chain said Tuesday the advertising and marketing departments have been combined and are being headed by advertising and marketing director Mara Kelly, who was director of database marketing. Forcellati, 43, joined Loehmann’s in 1994 and was responsible for the retailer’s image, including print and radio advertising, direct mail, sales promotion and public relations. Forcellati said in a statement that he would pursue writing a men’s style book and developing a fashion Web site, and explore new areas of creative services such as independent fashion segment production.
DELIVERING FASHION: DHL, which last year reached an agreement with IMG Fashion to become the official express and logistics partner for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Weeks in New York, Los Angeles and Miami, has expanded that relationship around the world. DHL will partner with IMG in 10 countries spanning four continents each year, including such events as Milano Moda Uomo in Italy and Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin, as well as events in Moscow, Mumbai, Hong Kong, London, Mexico City and Sydney. DHL plans to use these fashion events to strengthen its business partnership with the fashion, apparel and retail industries. In addition to the title sponsor, Mercedes-Benz, IMG’s official sponsors are DHL, American Express, Freixenet, Karstadt, L’Oréal and Veltins.