Retail conglomerate OVS has signed an agreement with Gap Inc., which will see the Italian company acquire all Gap stores in Italy, subject to completion of the unions’ consultation process that will start in the upcoming weeks.
The agreement follows the two’s ongoing franchise partnership, established early 2020, with OVS already offering GapKids in its stores and Gap Adult and Kids on its e-commerce site.
The acquisition will now see OVS take on 11 Gap standalone stores in the country.
Its decision comes as part of Gap’s previously published strategic review, released in October 2020, linked to the retailer’s plan of operating a more capital efficient partner model throughout the business. It further stated that it looks to benefit from the expertise of OVS, as a leading Italian apparel company, while amplifying the brand in international markets.
“In the development of our overall business model, we believe that this agreement will be another element of value creation for our company and that it represents a further step in the evolution of the OVS platform strategy to partner with other brands consistent with our positioning and values,” said OVS’ CEO, Stefano Beraldo, in a statement.
He continued: “We will leverage our unparalleled experience as a retailer and our creativity to strengthen Gap brand development in our country through both physical and digital channels.”
CEO of Gap Global, Mark Breitband, further stated that OVS has become a “valued partner” to the retailer, displaying “outstanding omni-channel Gap brand experiences” to Italian consumers.
OVS currently operates over 1,200 own-brand stores in Italy and abroad, as well as OVS Kids, Upim, Blukids and, interior brand, Croff.
The transfer is anticipated to take place in February 2022.