REAL ESTATE

Gap to open five Old Navy franchise stores in Philippines

BY Dan Berthiaume

San Francisco — Gap Inc. plans to open five franchise-operated Old Navy stores in the Philippines in 2014. The first two Old Navy stores will open in Manila in March and there are plans to open three more stores in the second half of the year for a total of five Old Navy stores in 2014.

The first of two Old Navy stores, a dedicated three-story building, will open in the heart of Manila’s fashion and shopping district, Bonifacio High Street, on March 22. The second store will open in the prominent Glorietta mall on March 29.

The three additional Old Navy stores are targeted to open in the Manila area in the second half of 2014 in new and existing developments. Old Navy is partnering with Stores Specialists, Inc. to open the stores, which already operates Gap brand and Banana Republic stores in the Philippines.

“The Philippines is a natural fit for Old Navy as the country has a strong and growing economy, and consumers in the market are interested in iconic American apparel brands,” said Blair Dunn, general manager, Old Navy franchise. “Through local partners we have immediate access to a deep understanding of the marketplace and consumer needs.”

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REAL ESTATE

Banana Republic to open in Yonkers, N.Y., development

BY Dan Berthiaume

Yonkers, N.Y. – Banana Republic will become a new retailer at the Ridge Hill shopping center in Yonkers, N.Y. Forest City Ratner Companies (FCRC), the developer and owner of Ridge Hill, said the Banana Republic location will open beneath the center’s Uniqlo store.

“We are thrilled to be adding these terrific new stores to the existing mix of outstanding shops, restaurants and entertainment venues at Ridge Hill,” said Kathryn Welch, executive VP and director of retail development at Forest City Ratner. “Banana Republic, Anthony Vince Nail Spa, and the soon-to-be-open Little Buddha restaurant are great examples of Ridge Hill’s commitment to combining shopping and dining with services desired by our clientele. They are all spectacular additions for 2014.”

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REAL ESTATE

Deckers opens brand showcase store

BY Dan Berthiaume

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Goleta, Calif. — Deckers Outdoor Corporation is opening its inaugural brand showcase store at the company’s new headquarters in Goleta, Calif. The flagship store delivers an elevated environment for Deckers brands to display their core heritage footwear, as well as seasonally significant offerings, while serving as an innovation lab to continually test new technologies and merchandising approaches, aimed at further improving the omni-channel customer experience.

Customers have the option to pick up their purchased product in-store or ship overnight, free of charge. On track to be certified as LEED Silver for the store’s sustainable design elements, the 8,000-plus-sq.-ft.location incorporates a blend of unique, varied materials, including walnut, hot rolled steel, exposed concrete, and gloss white laminate. The interior and exterior material reflects the diverse range of footwear and related products that Deckers offers. Approximately 30 full-time, part-time and seasonal employees are expected to be employed as a result of the store opening.

"Our new store will serve as the showcase for all of Deckers’ brands and our expression of next generation retail,” said Dave Powers, president of omni-channel for Deckers. “With the launch of this ‘innovation lab,’ we’re better able to listen to customers’ feedback, make product and service adjustments more efficiently, and heighten the overall customer experience. Shop in store using iPads, customize your product, order online, ship direct to your home free of charge or pick up in store.”

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