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Gap to franchise Old Navy overseas, grow smaller brands at home

San Francisco -- In a presentation to shareholders at its annual investor meeting on Wednesday, Gap CEO Glenn Murphy outlined growth initiatives that include taking Old Navy international via a franchising route, and expanding on its online programs.

According to Murphy, Gap is laying plans to franchise Old Navy stores in international markets in 2014 to accelerate the company’s global growth. "There is meaningful opportunity for our diverse portfolio of brands to gain share in the $1.4 trillion global apparel market," said Murphy in a statement. He didn’t elaborate on how many stores it plans on franchising.

Gap also said it is looking into the possibility of opening company-owned Banana Republic and Gap stores in China, and of expanding its smaller, emerging brands – Athleta, PiperLime and newly acquired Intermix – in North America.

“Gap Inc. is determined to build upon its product and revenue momentum in 2012,” said Murphy.

In addition to international openings and boutique-brand expansion, Gap said it plans to up its omni-channel offerings, examining programs such as ship-from-store, find-in-store and reserve-in-store.