American Clothing Giant Gap Sets Up Shop in Ukraine

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Gap's new store features 1,200 meters of showroom space on Khreschatyk street, Kiev’s main shopping strip. (Photo: Michaela Kobyakov)
Gap's new store features 1,200 meters of showroom space on Khreschatyk street, Kiev’s main shopping strip. (Photo: Michaela Kobyakov)

BUSINESS

  • Gap to open first store in Ukraine capital Kiev in June 2011
  • Gap’s arrival represents biggest deal of the year for Ukraine’s retail industry
  • European brands Topshop, New Look, River Island, New Yorker and Oysho set up in Ukraine last year

American clothing retailer Gap is set to open its first store in Ukraine capital Kiev in June 2011.

The specialty retailer has leased some 1,200 meters of showroom space over three floors on Khreschatyk street, Kiev’s main shopping strip.

The deal with the American fashion giant is the biggest in Ukraine’s retail industry for 2011 and reflects the boom in the former Eastern Bloc’s skyrocketing real estate market.

“The arrival of such a well-known retailer on the Ukrainian market is a significant event for the whole retail trade market,” said Anna Chubotina, Head of Retail Department at financial services group Jones Lang LaSalle, in a statement. “This demonstrates an important rise in interest of foreign operators in Ukraine.”

Ukraine Attracts Major EU Retailers

Several foreign retailers have already set up shop in Ukraine: UK brands Topshop, New Look and River Island arrived in 2010, and Germany’s New Yorker as well as Oysho from Spain opened stores this year.

With encouraging results from these European groups and the rise in consumer spending, Gap’s entrance into the Ukrainian market is expected to be just the beginning of big brand interest in Eastern Europe.

Gap Inc owns Banana Republic, Old Navy, Piperlime and Athleta brands, and has some 3,100 company-owned stores and 175 franchise stores worldwide.

Key Statistics - Global Retail Industry

  • The global retail industry generated over $10 trillion in revenue in 2009, growing annually at a rate of 4.3% between 2005 and 2009 (source: Datamonitor).
  • Retail sales growth in Ukraine increased 12.8% in February 2011 compared to last year, up from 11.1% in January (source: Ukraine State Committee of Statistics, Ukrstat).

By James Mulholland for
James Mulholland is a Paris-based internet and broadcast journalist specializing in sports, current affairs and technology news, while also freelancing as a photographer.

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