Banana Republic

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Banana Republic
Division of Gap
Industry Retail
Founded 1978; 39 years ago (1978)
Mill Valley, California, U.S.
Founder Mel Ziegler
Patricia Ziegler
Headquarters San Francisco, California, U.S.
Number of locations
Key people
Art Peck (CEO of parent Gap, Inc.)
Mark Breitbard (President & CEO)
Products Clothing
Parent Gap Inc. (1983–present)

Banana Republic is an American clothing and accessories retailer owned by American multinational corporation, Gap Inc.

It was founded in 1978 by Mel and Patricia Ziegler with the name "Banana Republic Travel & Safari Clothing Company" with a safari theme; in 1983, Gap purchased the company, changed the name to simply "Banana Republic", and gave it a more upscale image.[1] Banana Republic has more than 600 stores located internationally. In late 2016 the brand announced Olivia Palermo as its first women's global style ambassador.[2][3]


The original Banana Republic was founded by Mel and Patricia Ziegler in 1978.[4] 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.[5] They were known for a hand-drawn catalogue of items with fictional traveler/explorer stories printed alongside, and their safari-themed retail locations.[6][7]

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. To set itself apart from Gap as a more upmarket brand, Banana Republic occasionally buys and refurbishes historic buildings for its retail locations.


Inside the store
Banana Republic on Saint Catherine Street in Montreal, Quebec.
Banana Republic in Markville Shopping Centre
A Banana Republic outlet in Bonifacio Global City, Philippines

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 the 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.[8] 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.[9]

Banana Republic opened in Saudi Arabia in late 2008, with a store in Mall of Arabia in Jeddah and a second in Riyadh Gallery Mall in Riyadh in March 2009.[citation needed]

On March 2008, Banana Republic opened its 17,000-square-foot (1,600 m2) store on Regent Street in London, England.[10] 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.[11]

Clothing lines[edit]

  • BR Monogram[1]
  • Heritage
  • Sunday Sunday
Capsule collections
  • Trina Turk
  • Anna Karenina
  • Mad Men
  • Milly NY
  • Issa London
  • L'Wren Scott
  • Marimekko
  • Roland Mouret

Store count[edit]

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.[12]

North America
South America
Central America


  1. ^ a b "Major retailers launch upscale collections - Business - Retail | NBC News". MSNBC. 2008-04-20. Retrieved 2013-03-03. 
  2. ^ LIMEI HOANG, Banana Republic Pins Hopes on Olivia Palermo SEPTEMBER 9, 2016
  3. ^ PRNewswire, Banana Republic Announces Olivia Palermo As Global Style Ambassador Sept. 9, 2016
  4. ^ Klara, Robert Before Banana Republic Was Mainstream Fashion, It Was a Weirdly Wonderful Safari Brand: Revisiting the pith helmets, Jeeps and life-size giraffes AdWeek. March 17, 2016
  5. ^ "Banana Republic: A Look Back - Lancer Creative Services". Retrieved 14 July 2016. 
  6. ^ "The Adventure Begins....". 10 May 2011. Retrieved 14 July 2016. 
  7. ^ "Banana Republic - Themed Retail That Once Was". Retrieved 14 July 2016. 
  8. ^ [1]
  9. ^ [2]
  10. ^ "Regent Street Online". Retrieved 14 July 2016. 
  11. ^ Reuters (18 October 2016). "Gap to shut all Banana Republic shops in the UK" – via The Guardian. 
  12. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on September 28, 2011. Retrieved August 8, 2011. 
  13. ^ EconomĂa. "Noticias de El Salvador | Diario El Mundo » Roble inicia cambios en Multiplaza y Metrocentro". Archived from the original on 2012-10-28. Retrieved 2013-03-03. 

External links[edit]