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Gap to expand e-commerce reach on global basis

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San Francisco Gap said Thursday that it has upped international shipping offerings on its e-commerce site to 55 countries, including Australia, Brazil and Mexico, and by year-end will make online shopping available in up to 65 countries.

Gap said for the first time Old Navy will be available to customers outside North America and for the first time customers outside of the U.S. can shop online and have items shipped from the Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Piperlime and Athleta e-commerce sites.

“Online is an efficient way to reach new international customers and test the waters for our brands,” said Toby Lenk, president of Gap Direct, the company’s e-commerce division. “We’ve put together an aggressive program to grow our e-commerce business from one country to 65 countries this year while continuing to make the shopping experience easier and more convenient.”

Gap said it is building in-country fulfillment and launching dedicated e-commerce sites later this month for Canada and the United Kingdom, countries where it has an established store and customer base. In addition, Gap will offer international shipping on its U.S. e-commerce site. As part of the plan, Gap said it has partnered with FiftyOne, an international e-commerce expert, to facilitate online sales to international customers.

At checkout, international customers get a guaranteed order total up front in their own currency, including international duty, tax, and delivery costs, with a guaranteed exchange rate. FiftyOne ships the items from its facilities and provides an estimated delivery timeframe and global tracking number.

Earlier this year, Gap announced that it has partnered with an e-commerce company, Shanghai Yi Shang Network Information Co., Ltd., in China to offer Chinese customers the opportunity to shop for Gap products online this fall.

© 2014