By Mia Kuo, Gap Inc. blogger
Eight is a lucky number for Chinese people because its pronunciation in Mandarin sounds like “fortune” and “getting rich.”
Therefore, number 88 is even luckier, as it means double the fortune, double the luck. In June, our 88th store in China opened in Wuxi, a city near Shanghai. This new store represents a key moment for Gap Inc.'s rapid China expansion (83 of the 88 stores opened in 3 ½ years!) and the company’s overall global growth.
Mars Zhu, Manager of Store Growth, was among the first group of store leaders to launch Gap China in 2010. He said: “I am lucky to witness Gap Inc.'s business growing from four stores in November 2010 to 88 stores now. When I look back, it seems to be yesterday that I worked in the first store - in the Venture Tech building. I still remember the opening party, the crowd, and the excitement. I am very proud of the company and grateful for having the opportunity to grow with the company."
We have opened two more stores since this milestone (one Gap and one Old Navy) in the same city – Wuxi, bringing our total count to 90. This is our third Old Navy in China (we opened our first, in Shanghai, in March.)
Up next: We plan to open more than 20 Gap stores and two more Old Navy stores in China to bring the total store count across brands to about 110 by end of 2014. The next one will be in Taiwan, a new market we entered in March.