Next steps: Gap builds on UK return with re-introduction of Banana Republic and Athleta brands
Gap has added a pair of apparel brands to its joint venture with Next, after the fashion firm left the high street amid the pandemic.
The e-commerce retailer said it will re-introduce Banana Republic and Athleta products to the UK via Next’s Total platform.
The US retailer shut its 81 stores in the UK and Republic of Ireland in a phased exit last year, culling more than 1,000 jobs.
It made a physical return to the country earlier this year, with a Gap-branded shop within Next’s Oxford St flagship site opening in March. There are now also branded shop-in-shops in Birmingham, Thurrock, Manchester and Glasgow.
Apparel and accessories brand Banana Republic has launched a new curated collection on the Next website.
Yoga fashion firm Athleta is also to launch into the UK market in early 2023, with products also available on the Next website.
The two brands were “truly aspirational” names, according to Jon Jeffery, managing director of the joint venture.
Banana Republic and Athleta “individually offer a unique perspective and a strong design aesthetic that allows us to engage and delight new audiences and further expand our portfolio within the UK & Ireland,” Jeffery said.
The GAP shop-in-shops have offered shoppers an experience as well as selling products. At the Oxford St site, consumers can browse a customisation shop offering embroidery, badging and monogramming.