Gap establishes international division

San Francisco -- Gap said Tuesday that it is establishing an international division, based in London, to ramp up overseas growth, and will open its first Old Navy stores abroad -- in Japan -- by 2012.

Gap said it has set a goal for international and online sales to make up 30% of its total by 2013, up from 22% in 2010 and 14% in 2006. The new international division will oversee stores across Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, Asia Pacific and South America.

Gap said it named Stephen Sunnucks, 53, as president of the division. He was previously president for Europe and International Strategic Alliances divisions. The retailer also announced that John Ermatinger, currently president of Gap's Asia Pacific Region, will establish Old Navy International, beginning in June, with the objective of opening Old Navy in Japan by the end of 2012.

Tuesday’s announcements build on the company’s recent formation of a Gap Global Creative Center in New York, aimed at improving performance and executing one global design vision for Gap brand around the world.

In the year ahead, the company plans to open about 190 stores worldwide, including about 10 stores each in China and Italy. It plans to double the number of franchise stores to 400 by 2015.

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