Next will lead Gap’s UK and Ireland operations just months after the US retailer announced it was closing all 81 stores and moving to an online-only operation in both countries.
The UK chain announced that it would form a joint venture with Gap to operate the brand’s e-commerce business on a franchise basis and provide Gap-branded shop-in-shops and click-and points. -collect in select Next stores. Next will own 51% of the joint venture and Gap will own the rest, Next said in a statement yesterday.
Gap will be able to operate more efficiently in Britain and Ireland and benefit from Next’s e-commerce expertise, the UK retailer said.
This is the latest deal for Next as it seeks to grow its Total Platform division, a unit that allows other brands to use its IT, warehousing and logistics network for their own e-commerce.
The retailer already runs the Victoria’s Secret business in the UK and Ireland as part of a joint venture with the owner of the lingerie chain, L Brands International.
Next also recently bought a 25% stake in fashion brand Reiss, which is migrating its online operations to the Total Platform.
It also has deals with other brands including Laura Ashley and Childsplay.
Gap has struggled with its European operations in a very competitive and crowded fashion market. In June, the company announced it would close all stores in the UK and Ireland following a strategic review. The distributor is also planning to land stores in France and Italy.