San Francisco-based fashion group Gap, Inc. has announced that it has appointed IMG as its first-ever exclusive multi-brand licensing representative, a partnership that opens the door for a range of cross-category product extensions.
The new multi-year licensing deal will initially focus on the Gap, Banana Republic, and Janie and Jack brands, seeking to expand their reach by bringing new products to market that complement each label’s distinct identity. GapKids and BabyGap will also receive support from IMG.
New categories currently being explored by Gap and IMG include baby equipment, baby care, home décor, textiles and furniture. Through these potential expansions, the companies hope to increase existing consumer touchpoints for the brands involved, while also introducing them to new audiences.
“Gap Inc. operates a portfolio of strong, globally relevant brands that are familiar, trusted and highly marketable across multiple demographics,” said Roy Hunt, head of Gap Inc. franchise and strategic partnerships, in a release. “We are excited to explore new market segments and complementary points of product distribution for Gap, Banana Republic and Janie and Jack in an asset-light way that harnesses their individual strengths.”
“Distribution channels and consumer purchasing habits have evolved significantly since Gap’s founding, and never more so than in the last few years,” added IMG’s president of licensing, Bruno Maglione. “We are proud to be partnering with them on this bold new strategic move, which we believe will highlight consumer affection for these brands while showcasing their relevance in everyday life.”
At the end of last month, Gap revealed that, in light of the economic challenges presented by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the company may need to borrow further funds to survive the next 12 months.
In response to the health crisis, the retailer has already joined a number of its peers in withdrawing its annual financial guidance, suspending its quarterly dividend, furloughing a number of employees and drawing down its existing credit lines.
Along with its namesake Gap brand, Banana Republic, and Janie and Jack, Gap also owns the Old Navy, Athleta, Intermix, and Hill City brands.