PARIS — Hermione People & Brands, the retail arm of FIB Group, is purchasing Gap brand’s activities in France and will operate stores under a franchise agreement, the groups announced jointly on Tuesday.
Gap also received regulatory approval for the franchise agreement with HPB in the country on Tuesday.
The deal involves transferring all 21 Gap-branded stores and 347 Gap France employees to HPB in October. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Gap announced the strategic review of its company-operated business in Europe on Oct. 20, 2020, when the group told employees it might close its store network in the region, while expressing interest in striking up partnerships to maintain its presence there.
“The transaction shared today is the result of the review of Gap France,” the companies said in the statement Tuesday. “It will allow Gap to operate its business through a more efficient partner model and to benefit from the expertise of Hermione People & Brands, which owns a portfolio of leading retail brands Camaïeu, La Grand-Récré and 22 Galeries Lafayette affiliated stores.”
Owned by French businessman Michel Ohayon, FIB Group, or Financière Immobilière Bordelaise, is a retail property investment and development company that is also involved in high-end hotels and wine production.
In April, it was announced HPB had entered into exclusive talks to purchase Gap’s activities in France and operate the stores under a franchise agreement. Then in June, France’s competition body, L’Autorité de la concurrence, gave the green light to Ohayon.
“Together, we will co-write a new page in the history of Gap in France and help the company meet the retail challenges of today and tomorrow,” said Wilhelm Hubner, associate chairman of HPB, in the statement.
Mark Breitbard, president and chief executive officer of Gap Global, said: “Gap has served customers in France for nearly 30 years, and we are looking forward to working with Hermione People & Brands as our franchise partner in France because they offer innovative retail experiences. The decision to transfer our Gap business to a strong operator is an example of how we are partnering to amplify and grow our brand in international markets.”
Gap opened its first shop-in-shop in Galeries Lafayette in France in 1993.
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