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As part of its international expansion strategy, clothing retailer, The Gap, Inc. (GPS - Analyst Report) recently announced its plans to open 5 Old Navy franchise-operated outlets in the Philippines.

The first store, which is slated to open on March 22, 2014, will be situated at Bonifacio High Street in Manila. The location is a key shopping and fashion hub of the city and is extremely favorable for the company. Gap’s second outlet scheduled to open on March 29, 2014, will be situated at the Glorietta mall, also in Manila.

Both the above mentioned outlets will open with the brand’s collection for Spring 2014, comprising accessories for women, men, kids and maternity and other fashionable necessities. The other three stores are expected to be opened in the second half of the year.

The company chose the Philippines for its Old Navy franchise-operated outlets as the country has a strong and progressing economy with a market, which sees promising demand for American clothing brands. Also, Manila being the country’s capital is an ideal location to introduce the brand.

Further, to open these outlets, Old Navy intends to collaborate with Stores Specialists, Inc., which operates the company’s other brands, i.e., Gap and Banana Republic, in the Philippines. With its latest Chinese operations and ongoing success in Japan, the store openings in the Philippines are likely to help Gap on its growth trajectory in Asia and beyond.

Gap, based in California, is one of the most renowned and dominant global specialty apparel retailers, selling casual apparel, personal care, and accessories for men, women, children and infants.

Currently it carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). However, other better-ranked stocks in the related sector include Foot Locker Inc. (FL - Snapshot Report), American Apparel, Inc. (APP - Snapshot Report) and Columbia Sportswear Company (COLM - Snapshot Report), all sporting a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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