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Reliance Retail exploring a tie up with US brand Old Navy

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If the talks fructify, Old Navy would be the second brand from Gap’s stable to join forces with Reliance Retail

New Delhi: Reliance Retail is exploring possibilities to bring Old Navy, a brand owned by US fashion group Gap Inc., to India, three people familiar with the development said.

One of the persons said Reliance Retail’s plans for Old Navy are in very “exploratory” stages. If the talks fructify, Old Navy would be the second brand from Gap’s stable to join forces with India’s largest retailer by sales and by the number of stores.

Gap Inc. owns four brands including its eponymous Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy and Athleta, a women’s active and lifestyle brand that Gap acquired in 2008.

Top executives of two prominent malls—one each in New Delhi and Mumbai—said Reliance Retail officials have informally told them that Reliance is not just exploring possibilities for Old Navy but also looking to introduce Gap’s other brand Banana Republic to India.

“It is a logical step after Reliance’s tie-up with Gap,” said a chief executive of a foreign brand who is not privy to Reliance Retail’s plans for Old Navy and Banana Republic.

Reliance Retail, Old Navy and Banana Republic did not respond to emails requesting comment.

In 2022, Gap entered into a long-term franchise agreement with Reliance Retail, allowing the Mumbai-based retailer to sell the US brand across brick-and-mortar standalone stores, departments store chains and online channels in India.

Gap partnered with Reliance Retail in 2020 after the San Francisco-based fashion brand snapped its earlier franchisee agreement with Arvind Fashions citing the pandemic as a reason to call off their partnership.

Old Navy opened its first store in California in 1994 and became the fastest retailer to clock $1 billion in sales within four years of operations, according to the company’s website. Old Navy, which sells fashion apparel for men, women and kids, currently operates more than 1,200 stores globally, according to the company’s website.

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