Fashion retailer Gap is launching US clothing brand Banana Republic in the UK. San Francisco-based retailer Gap, which also owns Army & Navy, has never launched the brand in the UK despite its success in the US and other parts of the world. Gap Europe president Stephen Sunnucks yesterday confirmed Banana Republic would launch in Europe and would open the first outlet in Regent Street in 2008.
Rival H&M is also launching a new brand in the UK, COS, which stands for Collection of Style. COS is H&M’s more "upmarket" offering. COS will open in Regent Street next month and a further ten stores are planned for the UK, Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium.
H&M this week reported a 17% rise in annual profits to £1.1bn and a 12% rise in revenues to £4.94m, while Gap parted company with chief executive Paul Pressler after disappointing earnings over the crucial Christmas period.