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Gap consolidates European e-commerce expansion

15 February 2011 - 10:21 by David Aiken

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Fashion retailer Gap has made its presence in Europe's e-commerce market felt by expanding into eight additional EU nations this month.

Last August the UK became one of the first European countries to get an e-commerce site from which consumers could carry out safe shopping online and browse thousands of products from the Californian firm.

Now everywhere from Austria to Malta has its own Gap e-commerce site to use and a total of 18 European states have been encompassed in the firm's aggressive strategy to get its online offerings to more consumers.

Gap has not just been spreading quickly in Europe, as it has harnessed the powers and convenience of safe shopping online to enhance its presence in 90 countries. Just a year ago it was only able to ship goods to consumers in 25 nations, which should show you just how much of a contrast has been made by its progress in the e-commerce market.

Gap's Stephen Sunnucks, who heads up its European outfit, said that consumers on the continent had proved to be very loyal and eager to get greater access to its products, which had,in turn, encouraged the firm to give them every opportunity to buy clothes and accessories via the internet.

Mr Sunnucks also said that since the UK version of Gap's e-commerce site launched in the summer, it has seen a great deal of enthusiasm amongst domestic consumers, all of which is helping to fuel its projects around the world.

It is clear that retailers like Gap are gradually beginning to appreciate the value of a good online presence. Getting into 65 new nations within 12 months is a feat that would have been virtually impossible before the prevalence of the internet and Gap is one of the many firms riding the wave of e-commerce expansion.