Gap/OVS

PARIS — Hermione People & Brands, the retail arm of FIB Group, has entered exclusive talks to purchase Gap Inc.’s activities in France and operate stores under a franchise agreement.

The transaction involves 21 Gap branded stores and at least 358 jobs, according to a statement from FIB Group.

In October, Gap Inc. announced a strategic review of its European activities, telling employees it might close its store network in the region, while expressing interest in striking up partnerships to maintain its presence here. The review of operations included the U.K., France, Ireland and Italy as well as the warehouse and distribution model, and Gap and Banana Republic e-commerce operations.

Last month, Gap announced a franchising deal with OVS that allows the American group to maintain a presence in Italy, where two stores remain operating, in the country’s capital and in Milan. OVS offers Gap apparel including branded sweatshirts, chinos and denim for women, men, children and babies through online channels as well as a selection of Gap Kids products in dedicated corners in stores.

FIB Group, which stands for La Financière Bordelaise, operates brands including Camaïeu, La Grande-Récré and 22 stores affiliated with Galeries Lafayette. Owned by French businessman Michel Ohayon, Financière Immobilière Bordelaise is a retail property investment and development company that is also involved in high-end hotels and wine production.

FIB purchased 22 stores from Galeries Lafayette in 2018, mostly in smaller cities across the country.

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