Next to manage Gap’s UK business

Next is set to manage Gap’s UK and Ireland business as a franchise partner.

The news comes after the Gap announced in July it is set to close all its 81 brick-and-mortar stores in the UK and Republic of Ireland and move its operations fully online by the end of September.

Next will own 51 per cent of the new joint venture while Gap will own 49 per cent.

Gap’s e-commerce operations will continue via an integration into Next’s online platform.

Next is also set to host Gap-branded “shop-in-shops” at select retail locations and offer “extensive” click-and-collect options for Gap products to online customers beginning in 2022.

In 2020, Next struck a similar joint venture deal with Victoria's Secret to run the US firm's UK business.

In March 2021, Next acquired a 25 per cent equity stake in fashion retailer Reiss in a deal worth £33 million.

Next has performed strongly in the immediate aftermath of the pandemic; the retailer expects to report a pre-tax profit of £750 million for the year to January 2022, around £30 million ahead of expectations.

The chain attributed its performance to pent-up consumer demand, the difficulty of taking overseas holidays for UK consumers, lockdown savings, and warm weather.

“Gap is partnering with Next, one of the UK’s leading online clothing retailers, to amplify our omnichannel business and meet our customers in the UK and Ireland where they are shopping now,” said Mark Breitbard, the chief executive at Gap.

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