US apparel retailer Gap Inc. is in talks with Flipkart-owned fashion e-tailer Myntra as it explores potential partnerships in India after ending a franchise pact with Arvind Lifestyle Brands Ltd (ALB) last year, according to sources. ALB had in September hired an investment bank to find a buyer for the Gap business, saying, “Due to circumstances caused by the pandemic, both companies agreed that a mutual termination was in both companies’ best interest.”
“Gap Inc. is evaluating potential partnerships to continue serving customers in India. Franchise partnerships are an important and cost-effective way to grow our Gap business. Through company-operated stores, e-commerce sites and franchise partners, the Gap brand reaches customers in about 40 countries,” GAP said.
Sources said besides Myntra, another large apparel retailer is also eyeing the franchise. Uncertainty over the brand’s expansion plans has seen two malls in Delhi in the process of shutting Gap stores. A third store in a mall in Delhi was shut after ALB sought closure last month. The retailer has nearly 20 stores in India.
Gap is quite popular in a lot of non-metros and an online play could work well for them. The pandemic has changed the retail landscape, prompting retailers to look at a stronger online play as more first-time shoppers buy online. Myntra is the top fashion e-retailer in India. For the year to March 2020, it reported a 58% jump in revenue to Rs 1,719 crore, according to data from business intelligence platform, Tofler. It reported a net loss of Rs 744 crore for the year. In FY20, Gap posted a revenue of Rs 182 crore (or 4.7% of AFL’s consolidated turnover) with a profit before tax of Rs 34 crore, an exchange filing showed.