Thursday, November 11, 2010

GAP Fills China "Gap" With Four Stores And Online Shopping

The GAP logo.Image via Wikipedia

China Entry is a Cornerstone of Gap Inc.’s Global Expansion Plan

SHANGHAI--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Gap Inc. (NYSE:GPS) announced today the debut of its first four wholly owned contemporarily designed Gap stores in China, bringing Gap’s modern, accessible style to Chinese consumers for the first time. Each store will house all Gap collections: Gap, GapKids, baby gap and Gap Body. An online retail store is also launching today – www.gap.cn, making Gap clothes immediately available to all customers throughout China.
“Each store offers customers great service by a team of highly-trained staff. Greeters welcome Gap customers at the entrance and each collection has dedicated specialists to assist shoppers. All four stores offer Denim Fit sessions by appointment”
“Gap is the first American retailer in China to offer a single style destination for the entire family. We are excited to introduce Gap’s cool, modern American designs to Chinese consumers. I believe customers will be extremely pleased with fit, quality and the affordable style of our clothes, including our newest and most successful product, the 1969 Premium Jean,” said Redmond Yeung, President of Gap China.
Shanghai:
Gap is opening its first flagship store in Shanghai on November 11. This is a 1,140 square meter space in Hong Kong Plaza on Mid Huaihai Road, one of Shanghai’s premier shopping high streets. A second flagship store, occupying two floors in the Venture Tech building on the premier Nanjing West Road, will open in the next several weeks.
Beijing:
Gap will open two stores in Beijing on November 13. The first is a two-storied flagship store spanning 1,165 square meters in the APM Building on Wanfujing Street, and a second 1,800 square meter store in Chaobei Joy City, located in the eastern part of Beijing.
“Each store offers customers great service by a team of highly-trained staff. Greeters welcome Gap customers at the entrance and each collection has dedicated specialists to assist shoppers. All four stores offer Denim Fit sessions by appointment,” noted Lorenzo Moretti, Managing Director of Gap China.
Gap is opening the stores around the theme of “Let’s Gap Together,” celebrating the coming together of China and the U.S., and our shared spirit of creativity and individual expression. To commemorate this special occasion, world-famous photographer, Annie Leibovitz photographed a series of portraits pairing iconic Chinese and American leaders in their fields such as Zhou Xun, a Chinese actress who is devoted to sustainable development and Philippe Cousteau Jr., an environmentalist and grandson of Jacques Cousteau. These images can be seen in the stores and on outdoor advertising in each city. For images: www.gap.cn.
The arrival of Gap stores in China, the most populous country in the world, is a cornerstone of Gap Inc.’s global expansion strategy. Gap invested in extensive, multi-year market research and this entry marks the beginning of a long-term, multi-channel strategy that will eventually result in more stores throughout the country.
About Gap Inc.
Gap Inc. is a leading global specialty retailer offering clothing, accessories, and personal care products for men, women, children, and babies under the Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Piperlime, and Athleta brands. Fiscal 2009 sales were $14.2 billion. Gap Inc. operates about 3,100 stores in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Ireland, Japan and China. In addition, Gap Inc. is expanding its global presence with franchise agreements in Asia, Australia, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East. For more information, please visit www.gapinc.com.
History
Gap was founded in 1969 in San Francisco, California by Doris and Don Fisher. Their goal? To make it easier for customers to find a great fitting pair of jeans and an easy-to-shop store experience. This philosophy lives on at Gap. We offer modern, cool clothing and accessories that help customers express their own individual sense of style.
Today, the brand continues its history of providing authentic style, celebrating creativity and making a difference. We recently introduced 1969 Premium Jeans. Building on 40 years of denim experience, Gap reinvented the premium denim category by delivering superior fit, finishes and detail.
Gap is committed to delivering quality items that people expect from our brand — including denim, khaki and knits in great styles and colors.

Contacts

Gap Inc.
Media Relations
Louise Callagy, +1-415-427-2350
press@gap.com
or
Investor Relations
Aina Konold, +1-415-427-4454
Permalink: http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20101110007368/en/Gap-Enters-China-Stores-Online-Shopping


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SpendingPulse: U.S. Retail Spending Gains Momentum in October

Total Sales Ex-Auto Up By 3.3% Year-Over-Year

Month-to-Month Growth of 3.1%; Highest Gain since January 2009
PURCHASE, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--MasterCard Advisors:
“Retail spending seems to have finally gained some momentum after several months of sluggishness, showing a year-over-year growth rate better than twice the average of the previous three months”
SpendingPulse™
Data Source:
A macroeconomic indicator, SpendingPulse reports on national retail and services sales and is based on aggregate sales activity in the MasterCard payments network, coupled with survey-based estimates for all other payment forms, including cash and check. MasterCard SpendingPulse does not represent MasterCard financial performance. SpendingPulse is provided by MasterCard Advisors, the professional services arm of MasterCard Worldwide.
MasterCard Advisors’ SpendingPulse, a macro-economic report tracking national retail and service sales, today provided summary results for October 2010. Kamalesh Rao, Director of Economic Research for MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse, reported that in October total retail sales, ex-auto, grew by 3.3% year-over-year, the strongest year‐to‐year pace since April. Similarly, seasonally adjusted month-to-month sales were up by 3.1%. Excluding both auto and gasoline, on a seasonally unadjusted basis, year-over-year sales in October grew by 2.7%, slightly more than double September’s 1.3% increase.
To watch a short video with additional commentary from Kamalesh Rao, please visit:
“Retail spending seems to have finally gained some momentum after several months of sluggishness, showing a year-over-year growth rate better than twice the average of the previous three months,” said Rao. “On a seasonally adjusted month-to-month basis, October was up 3.1%, which was the third straight month of growth, following four months of decline. And while the rebound in gasoline spending has helped drive the retail number, the ex-auto, ex-gas numbers show a moderate resurgence as well. This is a welcome sign as we head into the holiday season, as it indicates that in spite of the continuing high unemployment rate there is some life in discretionary spending, particularly in sectors with low or flexible price points.”
Sectors showing positive results included eCommerce and grocery, with apparel showing particular strength – its third consecutive month of year-over-year growth. Department store sales declined, as did electronics and appliances, despite earlier growth, and airlines posted their first decline since June 2009.
Spending grew in every part of the country, with the best unadjusted year-over-results in the Mid-Atlantic and South Central regions at close to or above 5.5%. The Northeast, Pacific and Great Plains lagged, posting gains of between 1% and 2% on a seasonally unadjusted year-over-year basis.
U.S. Retail Sales, Unadjusted Year/Year %Change
U.S. Retail Sales
  October 2010  September 2010
Total Retail Ex Auto  +3.3%  +1.4%
Total Ex Auto Ex Gas  +2.7%  +1.3%
    
U.S. Retail Sales, Seasonally Adjusted for October
U.S. Retail Sales  
% Change Over
  
% Change Over
   
Prior Month
  
Prior Year
Total Retail Ex Auto  +3.1%  +5.0%
Total Ex Auto Ex Gas  +1.5%  +5.4%
About MasterCard Advisors
MasterCard Advisors provides payments consulting, information, analytics, and customized services to financial institutions and their merchant partners worldwide. Addressing complex challenges in strategy, marketing, risk, and operations, MasterCard Advisors helps clients maximize the value of their payments businesses. As the professional services arm of MasterCard Worldwide, MasterCard Advisors is uniquely qualified to provide clients with insights and solutions that drive tangible impact and financial gain. For more information, go to www.mastercardadvisors.com.
About MasterCard Worldwide
As a leading global payments company, MasterCard Worldwide prides itself on being at the heart of commerce, helping to make life easier and more efficient for everyone, everywhere. MasterCard serves as a franchisor, processor and advisor to the payments industry, and makes commerce happen by providing a critical economic link among financial institutions, governments, businesses, merchants, and cardholders worldwide. In 2009, $2.5 trillion in gross dollar volume was generated on its products by consumers around the world. Powered by the MasterCard Worldwide Network – the fastest payment processing network in the world – MasterCard processes over 22 billion transactions each year, has the capacity to handle 140 million transactions per hour, with an average network response time of 140 milliseconds and with 99.99 percent reliability. MasterCard advances global commerce through its family of brands, including MasterCard®, Maestro®, and Cirrus®; its suite of core products such as credit, debit, and prepaid; and its innovative platforms and functionalities, such as MasterCard PayPass™ and MasterCard inControl™. MasterCard serves consumers, governments, and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. For more information, please visit us at www.mastercard.com. Follow us on Twitter: @mastercardnews.

Contacts

Meir Kahtan Public Relations, LLC
Meir Kahtan, +1-212-575-8188
mkahtan@rcn.com
or
MasterCard Worldwide
Naya Larsson, +1-914-249-3916
naya_larsson@mastercard.com
Permalink: http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20101111005784/en/SpendingPulse-U.S.-Retail-Spending-Gains-Momentum-October

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American Express Launches Premium Return Protection to Help Shoppers Avoid The Point of No Return

New Service Gives Shoppers the Freedom to Make Returns for up to 180 Days on Retail Purchases

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Just in time for the holidays, American Express announced Premium Return Protection, a new addition to its portfolio of protection services that gives shoppers up to 180 days to return eligible items that retailers will no longer accept.
“Premium Return Protection is a great service for those who often have second thoughts about their purchases well after the fact”
 American ExpressCompared to other return protection services, Premium Return Protection offers consumers greater flexibility and fewer restrictions on the types of items that can be returned. This includes expanded return protection on clothing, jewelry and electronics as well as for new categories like watches, books and DVDs. It is available to all consumers – not just American Express Cardmembers – for an annual price of $49.99 and will cover purchases made in the United States with any credit, debit or charge card from any financial services company. It also covers purchases made with prepaid cards issued by American Express. Those who enroll in the service will be covered for up to $600 per item, with a maximum annual refund of $2,500. All items must be returned in like new condition.
In addition, Premium Return Protection covers the cost of return shipping, up to $20 per item, with an annual maximum refund of $100. This benefit is designed for consumers who enjoy online shopping but don’t have the option of seeing what they’re buying. Another advantage of the service is that it can be used to cover restocking fees, which can be as much as 25 percent of the cost of an item.
“Premium Return Protection is a great service for those who often have second thoughts about their purchases well after the fact,” said David Kroner, vice president and general manager, American Express, Card Services. “With retailers tightening return policies this holiday season, shoppers will appreciate the peace of mind and extra time our enhanced return protection offers. And when consumers can shop with confidence, we know merchants will benefit, too.”
How It Works
Consumers can enroll in Premium Return Protection online at www.americanexpress.com/premium-return-protection or by calling American Express at 1-866-912-6566. Once enrolled, consumers must first try to return an item to the merchant where it was purchased. If the retailer will not accept the item back – and the time period to make a return has expired – enrollees can use Premium Return Protection.
To make a return, enrollees need to send a photocopy of a valid receipt of purchase along with their charge, credit or debit statement. Once the request is approved, the item can be sent to American Express. Items cannot be used or worn, meaning that apparel must have original tags, electronics and other goods should be in good working order, and computer software and DVDs must be returned in their original, sealed packaging. Once a request for return is approved and processed, American Express will refund shoppers in the form of a check or an American Express Gift Card.
Premium Return Protection covers purchases made in the United States on any credit, debit, charge or American Express prepaid card. Eligible items include:
  • Clothing and accessories
  • Electronics
  • Jewelry – excluding loose gems, pearls, custom made items, antiques
  • Watches – excluding custom made items and antiques
  • Cellular phones and pagers
  • Computer software, firmware, CDs and DVDs
  • Books
  • Home d├ęcor and small appliances
  • Exercise equipment
For a complete list of eligible items and more information about Premium Return Protection, consumers can visit www.americanexpress.com/premium-return-protection.
“All shoppers – from significant others unsure of jewelry tastes, to bargain hunters who love the deals that come with final sales – can enjoy the benefits of Premium Return Protection from American Express,” added Kroner.
About American Express
American Express is a global services company, providing customers with access to products, insights and experiences that enrich lives and build business success. Learn more atamericanexpress.com and connect with us on facebook.com/americanexpresstwitter.com/americanexpress and youtube.com/americanexpress.

Contacts

American Express
Leah Gerstner, 212-640-3174
leah.m.gerstner@aexp.com
or
Ogilvy Public Relations
Emily Harris, 212-880-5276
emily.harris@ogilvypr.com
Permalink: http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20101111005324/en/American-Express-Launches-Premium-Return-Protection-Shoppers

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