REAL ESTATE

Gap to open stores in Vietnam and Guam

BY Staff Writer

San Francisco — Gap said Tuesday it plans to open stores in both Vietnam and Guam as part of the retailer’s efforts to ramp up overseas expansion.

A Gap store is slated to open in Vietnam in October, followed by a Banana Republic store in late 2012.

The first two Gap stores will open in Ho Chi Minh City as part of a franchise deal with Imex Pan Pacific, with additional stores set for Hanoi in 2012.

The first two Gap stores will open in Guam in January, under an existing franchise agreement with Casual Clothing Specialist.

"Vietnam’s rapidly growing economy and Guam’s well developed tourism industry both provide ample opportunity to introduce the Gap and Banana Republic brands to local consumers," Stefan Laban, Gap’s managing director of strategic alliances, said in a statement.

Gap’s international coverage, including the latest deals in Vietnam and Guam, includes 32 countries. It has announced plans to double its current 200-store franchise base to 400 by fiscal 2014.

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REAL ESTATE

Shoprite ups store counts in South Africa to combat Wal-Mart

BY Staff Writer

Cape Town, South Africa — A Tuesday report by Bloomberg said that Shoprite Holdings Ltd. has announced plans to speed up its store expansion this year as it faces increased competition from Wal-Mart Stores.

South Africa’s largest retailer by market value, Shoprite said it will add 106 stores by June 2012. That compares with 96 openings in the same period last year. The company currently operates 1,246 stores.

Wal-Mart is making its market debut in the region, as it has taken controlling interest in Massmart Holdings Ltd. for $2.3 billion.

“We have to open new stores to keep growing and keep market share,” Shoprite CEO Whitey Basson said at a press conference. “It’s still profitable to open stores and keeps us ahead of competitors.”

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REAL ESTATE

Toys ‘R’ Us opening 21 stores and remodeling 23 locations in 2011

BY Marianne Wilson

Wayne, N.J. — Toys “R” Us is on track to open 21 stores across 13 states by yearend, including 11 “R” Superstores and 10 “Side-by-Side” locations. (The “R” format combines full-size Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us stores under one roof.)

The new reflect the company’s strategy to bring Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us together under one roof in an integrated store format, providing customers with a streamlined shopping environment.

In addition, as part of an ongoing effort to upgrade the company’s portfolio of stores nationwide, the chain expects to have completed the remodeling of 23 existing locations to the Side-by-Side format by the end of the year.

“Integrating Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us under one roof has been part of the company’s strategy for the past five years and customers continue to embrace the enhanced shopping experience these stores offer,” said Jerry Storch, chairman and CEO, Toys “R” Us. “The Side-by-Side store format provides exceptional convenience for parents, offering a wide selection of differentiated toys and juvenile products, and allows the company to cultivate customer loyalty as their children grow and they transition from Babies “R” Us to Toys “R” Us shoppers.”

Toys “R” Us embarked on its integrated store strategy in 2006, and since then has converted more than 100 of its traditional U.S. to the Side-by-Side format. In 2007, the company opened the first of its new “R” Superstores. By the end of 2011, the company will operate 43 “R” Superstores nationwide.

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