Gap says it will work with Inter Parfums in an effort to 'lay the foundations for long-term growth of its personal care products.' This will see Gap and the company's Banana Republic branded personal care concepts into an expanded and improved line up.
Inter Parfum has been charged with product development, formula creation, packaging and manufacturing, whereas Gap will be responsible for marketing and selling the products across its Banana Republic and Gap stores.
Gap CEO and president Paul Pressler said, "Personal care products are a natural extension of our brands and represent an organic growth opportunity for our company. Inter Parfums is a creative company with expertise in building high-quality personal care products. Their ability to transform personal care concepts into products complements our strengths in branding and marketing."
Gap says it is expecting that the new personal care lines will be first launched in North American in the Banana Republic stores in the fall of 2006, followed by the Gap stores during the course of 2006.
The company did not comment on the financial terms of the Inter Parfums deal, nor on plans to expands the new personal care lines into international markets.
Although Gap's financial results have been strong since 2002, recently signs that its performance is wavering have been shown in its not so rosy US same-store sales, which are reported to be down by 4 per cent.
The deal will be equally well received by Inter Parfums, which itself was hit by falling earnings for the first quarter of the year, following increased expenditure relating to marketing and royalties.
However, Inter Parfums has also found continuing growth in its sales thanks to its associations with another leading clothing brand, Burberry. Although profits were hit, sales rose 22 per cent in the first quarter to reach $71.1 million, aminly due to its Burberry Brit line.
Gap's decision to bolster its personal care offering forms part of a now well established heritage of clothing retailers offering personal care lines. Leading retailers with similar operations include Calvin Klein, Armani, Hennes & Mauritz and Tommy Hilfiger.
British clothing retailer Ted Baker launched its first foray into the make-up category in October last year, as part of a move to extend its already well-established personal care and fragrance lines.