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Gap Inc. Updates International Plans

Gap brand to enter Paraguay and Hungary, while Banana Republic will open in Mexico.

Gap Inc. is growing its overseas base, with four more international stores set to open later this year.

The three countries where it will expand this year so far are Paraguay, Hungary and Mexico. By the end of this year, Gap expects to have a presence in eight Latin American countries: Chile, Panama, Colombia, Mexico, Uruguay, Paraguay, Peru and Brazil. The company said it expects to have a presence in Costa Rica in the “near future.”

The San Francisco-based firm said it has signed a new agreement with Neutral to open the first Gap store in Paraguay later this year. Neutral is an existing franchise partner, having opened a Gap store in Uruguay last November.

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Gap will also open two Gap stores in Budapest through an existing relationship with Gottex Brands. Gottex is part of the Trimera Group.

Banana Republic will open its first freestanding store in Mexico later this year through retail partner Distribuidora Liverpool SA de CV. Previously, Banana Republic-branded merchandise was available in a franchise shop-in-shop concept at Liverpool department stores. The store will be the first freestanding site and will carry a full assortment of Banana Republic merchandise.

The company’s first franchise-operated store was opened in 2006. There are now more than 300 franchise stores around the world in 40 markets that include Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and Australia.

Currently, only its Gap and Banana Republic brands have franchise stores in operation.