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Gap returns to the British high street with Next

By Danielle Wightman-Stone

Mar 14, 2022

Retail |In Pictures

Image: Gap

Gap has opened its first branded shop-in-shop within Next’s Oxford Street store in London, in a return to the British high street, following the closure of all of its UK stores in 2021 after a strategic review of its business.

The first Gap shop-in-shop is located within Next’s largest West End store on London’s Oxford Street and will be the biggest branded shop within the store, covering 4,000 square feet of retail space. The concept store has been designed to embody Gap’s reinvented approach to retail in the UK, explained the retailer, and features an open, modern and minimal design, and includes its own entrance onto Oxford Street.

Image: Gap

Gap will stock a “curated collections of elevated everyday essentials” for women, men and kids, including denim, fleeces, khakis, shirting and its iconic logo products. The shop-in-shop will also offer embroidery, badging and monogramming customisation stations for Gap customers to personalise their purchases.

The Gap shop-in-shop will sit alongside other brands stocked in the Next store including womenswear brand Lipsy and stationery brand Paperchase.

Gap opens first shop-in-shop within Next, following joint venture partnership

The Oxford Street opening is described as a “major milestone” to re-establish Gap’s brick-and-mortar presence and forms part of its joint venture announced in September 2021, with Next owning a 51 percent stake in the venture, while Gap owns 49 percent.

Next will operate Gap’s business in the UK and Ireland as a franchise partner, managing its e-commerce business and establishing Gap-branded shop-in-shops within Next. The move is part of the American brand's plans to amplify its omnichannel business to better serve its customers within the UK and Ireland.

Image: Gap

Gap added that work has already started to migrate its e-commerce business to the Next Total Platform, alongside the integration of other operational capabilities such as a comprehensive click-and-collect service, next-day delivery, and a variety of customer service options later this year. The retailer has not confirmed how many shop-in-shops will open or the locations.

Jon Jeffery, managing director of the joint venture, said in a statement: "I am so excited at the coming together of these two iconic businesses to relaunch the Gap brand in the UK and Ireland, and in particular I'm thrilled at the opportunity to bring Gap's Modern, American Optimism to our customers at our new London store at 120 Oxford Street.”

Adrienne Gernand, managing director of international, global licensing and wholesale at Gap Inc., added: “We look forward to continue growing the Gap business in the UK through our joint venture with Next Plc. Partnering with market leading, omni-channel retailers like Next Plc allows us to amplify and deliver our relevant, purpose-driven brand to meet our customers in the UK and Ireland – and with greater speed, agility, and customer services than ever before.”

Image: Gap
Image: Gap
Image: Gap
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