The first Australian Gap store has opened in Melbourne today
American retailer Gap has signed an agreement to bring its brand to Australian shores following years of speculation, in the latest sign US companies are flocking to the local market attracted by the strength of the franchising sector.
But while there should be enough demand for the company's product, one retail expert wonders whether it will struggle to compete against Australia's fashion-conscious market.
It comes as a number of other American retailers, including the NexCen brand of food and beverage chains, are in the process of location-scouting and finding potential franchisees.
Gap confirmed its plans overnight with the company signing a franchising agreement with Brand Republic, a subsidiary of Busby Holdings Australia. Stefan Laban, vice president of strategic alliances for Gap, said in a statement the first location will be in Melbourne's Chadstone Shopping Centre and will open in August..