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Old Navy opens in China: Eight favorite moments

ExperienceAlexandra Pentland, Gap Inc. blogger1 Comment

Ni hao from Shanghai!

A few days ago, our very first Old Navy opened in China.

It was such an extraordinary day. Watching the University of Southern California drum line stop traffic parading across the crazy Shanghai intersection, banked by an historic temple and gigantic Old Navy sign, was amazing.

Why USC?  What better way to make a big noise about our first Old Navy store than with the American style sounds of an award-winning drum line from one of the top U.S. college marching bands?! It also helped that USC has a large alumni group in Shanghai, many of whom came out to help us celebrate.   

I couldn’t help but note the contrast of the super-size orange Old Navy balloons against the dark, rainy and gray Shanghai backdrop.

 The crowd that had gathered for the ribbon cutting was so excited — they cheered our executives like rock stars. There were many smiles that cracked on peoples’ faces as they entered the store, high-fiving passionate employees on their way in.

I'm feeling incredibly grateful to be here in China to witness this slice of brand history on behalf of so many who worked to make this happen.

To help celebrate, here are eight of my favorite moments...

1. Seeing the brand new 22,000 sq. foot, three-level, Old Navy store in the heart of the Jing’an shopping and tourist district, right across from the ancient Jing ‘an Temple. 

  

 

2. Watching the University of Southern California (USC) drum line, which entertained hundreds of locals standing waiting in the rain for the store to open.

 

3. The crowds! I could feel the excitement inside the store.

 

4. Meeting our brand new Old Navy Shanghai Sellebrities (sales associates). 

 

5. Hearing the crowd cheer when our executives cut the ribbon.       

 

6. Seeing three double-decker Old Navy buses carry the USC drum line to stops throughout the city on opening day.

 

7. Ken N. and Missy F., Old Navy employees celebrating the opening. Missy will be in China for months as a brand ambassador, bringing deep experience running stores in the U.S. with her to help support the launch of the brand.

 

8. Judy J., Field HR Manager and her adorable son sporting matching “Hello Shanghai” Old Navy tees.

  

And here's a colorful look at opening day in Shanghai: