“We have the world’s best collection of American brands coupled with a strong economic model and runway for global growth,” said Glenn Murphy, chairman and chief executive officer of Gap Inc. as the company revealed plans to achieve long-term growth in China and advances to its omni-channel scheme during its annual investor meeting on Wednesday morning.

Gap Inc strategy for global expansion includes plans for sales in China to triple to over one billion dollars (595 million pounds) within the next three years, with the Indian market next on the list. Jeff Kirwan, the company's president for Greater China, believes that by focusing on new store openings combined with the growing demand for outlet stores and large group of online shoppers, Gap Inc will be able to achieve its ambitious goal.

China is Gap Inc largest growth initiative In 2013, Gap Inc opened 34 stores in mainland China, which brought its total amount of stores in the second largest apparel market to 81 and led to a turnover of 300 million dollars (119 million pounds). Since then number of stores has grown to 83, and over the course of the year Gap Inc aims to open 30 additional stores. The company also opened its first Old Navy flagship store in China last year, and launched a local web store via online platform Alibaba, which help strengthen the company's position in China.

Over the past four years alone, Gap's brand awareness has doubled to 70 percent within mainland China, with brand awareness reaching 80 percent among young mother, due to Gap's popular infant and children's wear lines. However, since China's middle class is still emerging, the company is aware that some of their prices may still be too high for its target audience. During a survey of visitors in Old Navy's new store in Shanghai, only a fraction of those questioned revealed they thought the clothing was too expensive, highlighting the importance of expanding Gap Inc lower priced brands in the country.

“As the retail landscape evolves, we continue to deliver on our omni-channel road map and focus on owning the shopping experience of the future,” added Murphy, as Gap Inc highlighted plans to continue developing its onmi-channel sales and test the possibility of letting customers order online in store. The company aims to roll out in store online ordering at over thousand Gap and Banana Republic stores by the end of the second quarter.

“In the next five years, we plan to leverage our scale to drive our strategic initiatives – including global growth plans, omni-channel strategies, a seamless inventory model and fully responsive supply chain. We expect these initiatives to contribute meaningfully to our revenue growth and operating profit,” concluded Murphy.

 

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