Mill Valley, California, U.S.
|Headquarters||San Francisco, California, U.S.|
Number of locations
|Art Peck (CEO of parent Gap, Inc.)
Andi Owen (President)
Marissa Webb (CD)
It was founded in 1978 by Mel and Patricia Ziegler with a safari theme; in 1983, Gap purchased the company and gave it a more upscale image. Banana Republic has over 600 stores located internationally. In late 2016 the brand announced Olivia Palermo as its first women's global style ambassador.
The original Banana Republic was founded by Mel and Patricia Ziegler in 1978. The couple were known for acquiring interesting clothing items that their travel-related jobs brought them in contact with. They eventually opened a store in the Mill Valley area of Northern California. They were known for a hand-drawn catalogue of items with fictional traveler/explorer stories printed alongside, and their safari-themed retail locations.
Gap Inc. acquired Banana Republic in 1983, eventually rebranding it as a mainstream luxury clothing retailer. The literate articles, hand-drawn catalog, and eccentric tourist-oriented items were phased out and were replaced with more luxurious, but not unique, items for which the brand is currently known (as of 2012). To set itself apart from Gap as a more upmarket brand, Banana Republic occasionally buys and refurbishes historic buildings for its retail locations.
The company operates more than 500 Banana Republic stores in the United States (including Puerto Rico), 40 stores in Canada, and 61 stores beyond North America. The Gap, Inc. is expanding its international presence with franchise agreements for Gap and Banana Republic in Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. In 2015 Banana Republic opened a new flagship in Manhattan on Fifth Avenue and 18th Street.
Banana Republic opened its first store outside North America in 2005 in Ginza, Tokyo's most prestigious upscale shopping district. Banana Republic's presence in South Korea debuted in August 2007 with a store in the trendy Apkujeong district of Seoul. In 2007, the first Banana Republic stores opened at The Avenues shopping mall in Kuwait City, Kuwait; Senayan City in Jakarta, Indonesia; and Pavilion Kuala Lumpur in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Banana Republic opened its first store in Turkey in March 2008 in the Kanyon Shopping Mall in Istanbul. By May 2008, İstinye Park Shopping Mall and Nişantaşı stores were also opened in Istanbul. More stores are planned to be opened in Ankara and İzmir by the end of 2008 to bring the total number of stores in Turkey to six.
On March 2008, Banana Republic opened its 17,000-square-foot (1,600 m2) store on Regent Street in London, England. On May 9, 2008, Banana Republic opened its store on Greenbelt 5 in Makati City, Philippines.
On October 2016, Banana Republic announced that it would close all its UK stores by the end of the year, due to falling sales.
As of the end of the first quarter of 2011, Banana Republic had 682 company-owned or franchised stores in operation across 32 countries, shipped to 20 countries through company owned websites, and had the ability to ship to more than 50 countries through a 3rd party.
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