As Gap Inc. neared the opening of its 101st namesake store in China last November, the San Francisco-based company was coolly confident in its growth prospects there. And why wouldn’t it have been? The milestone—which included Gap and Gap Outlet locations—was reached less than four years after the first store debuted in 2010; sales had grown to nearly $500 million in that time and e-commerce expanded by about 60 percent year-over-year between 2013 and 2014.
“We continue to be excited by the response of Chinese customers to our brands,” Jeff Kirwan, president of greater China for Gap Inc., said in a statement at the time. “Both Gap and Old Navy have been warmly embraced, giving us confidence to continue our expansion in this vibrant region.”
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