Gap is betting its lowest-priced brand will work as well in the Middle East as it has in Asia

Next stop, Dubai.
Next stop, Dubai.
Image: Reuters/Stephen Lam
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Earlier this year, Old Navy, the lowest-priced retail brand of the Gap, opened its first stores in the Philippines and in China. In 2012, Old Navy expanded to Japan, which had 20 stores by the end of 2013, as part of its push in Asia. Now the company is taking its next strides in the Middle East: It announced today that it will debut in six countries in the region.

Gap will be partnering with Middle Eastern franchisees Fawaz A. Alhokair & Co. and Azadea, who already manage the company’s other brands, Gap itself and Banana Republic. Stores will open in the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, and Qatar, and eventually in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Oman.

The expansion comes amidst Gap’s growing yearly sales and profit (pdf, p.36) and Old Navy’s success in Asia so far. Globally, Old Navy is doing better than its sister brands, Gap and Banana Republic, and so far this year has been the only one of the three showing sales growth (pdf).

Known for its baby and children’s clothes, as well as simple, affordable wardrobe staples such as cotton dresses, teeshirts, slacks, and flip flops, Old Navy says it is poised to continue its success in the Middle East.  “Given the family-centered culture of the region,” said executive vice president, Robert Frank ”we believe Old Navy’s iconic American apparel and focus on fashion, family and value will really resonate with customers.”