Banana Republic

Banana Republic

company_name = Banana Republic
company_type = Subsidiary of GAP
company_slogan =
foundation = 1978 in Mill Valley, California
location = San Francisco, California
= London, United Kingdom key_people = Mel Ziegler, Patricia Ziegler Founders
num_employees = 152,000 (throughout Gap, Inc.)
industry = Retail
products = Clothing and accessories
revenue = $2.5 billion
(2006, for Banana Republic division)
homepage = []

Banana Republic is a chain of mainly United States based clothing stores founded by Mel and Patricia Ziegler in 1978 as a travel-themed clothing company. It was bought by Gap Inc. in 1983. The company has over 500 stores.


The original Banana Republic was founded by Mel and Patricia Ziegler in 1978. It was a two-store safari and travel-themed clothing company. The majority of sales came from its eccentric catalog, which presented high-end and unique items with chatty, usually fictional, backstories from exotic locations, as well as more pedestrian high-volume products deliberately spiced up with a similar treatment. The company competed directly with the J. Peterman Company. As Banana Republic expanded its retail operation, it became known for the themed decoration in its stores, often featuring authentic elements, such as real Jeeps and foliage, as well as atmospheric elements, such as fog and steam.

Gap Inc. acquired Banana Republic in 1983, eventually rebranding it as a mainstream luxury clothing retailer. The eccentric tourist-oriented items were phased out and were replaced with more luxurious 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.Fact|date=June 2008

Year Event

1978 The first Banana Republic store opens in Mill Valley, California

1979 Banana Republic begins to distribute a Safari and Imported Surplus Catalog

1983 Gap acquires Banana Republic- a two-store mail-order safari and travel clothing company

1984 The Banana Republic Summer 1984 catalog reaches over 1 million people. Catalog orders are 50% of sales

1988 Banana Republic opens its 100th store

1988 Banana Republic discontinues its Travel & Safari catalogs

1990 Gap Inc.'s 1,000th store opens - a Banana Republic in Buffalo, New York

1993 Banana Republic begins its transition to a lifestyle brand by broadening its offerings beyond clothing to include jewelry and small leather products

1995 The first Banana Republic store opens outside the United States in Edmonton, Canada

1995 Banana Republic continues its lifestyle branding by introducing personal care and shoe lines

1996 Banana Republic introduces gift and home accessories collections

1998 Banana Republic debuts its first national television commercials, featuring Banana Republic suede

1998 Banana Republic introduces the company's first private label credit cards (they are the first brand to pilot this program)

1998 Banana Republic annual sales exceed $1 Billion

1999 Banana Republic launches its online store at

2000 Banana Republic is featured on NBC's popular sitcom Will & Grace. In several episodes, Jack (Sean Hayes) is a BR sales associate

2001 Banana Republic launches petite sizes in an online-exclusive debut

2004 Banana Republic collaborates with Bravo to combine product placement with on-air content resulting in the hit reality series, "Project Runway"

2005 The first Banana Republic in Japan opens in Printemps Ginza, Tokyo

2007 The first Banana Republic franchise store opens in Manama, Bahrain, followed by stores in Jakarta, Indonesia; Kuwait City, Kuwait; Abu Dhabi, UAE; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Singapore; Seoil, Korea and Muscat, Oman.

2008 The first Banana Republic store opens in London, England on Regent St.


. Gap Inc. is expanding its international presence with franchise agreements for Gap and Banana Republic in Asia, Europe, and the Middle East.

Banana Republic opened its first store outside North America in 2005 in Ginza, Tokyo's most prestigious shopping district. Banana Republic's presence in South Korea debuted on August 24, 2007 with a flagship store in the Apkujeong district of Seoul. In 2007, the first Banana Republic stores opened at The Avenues shopping mall in Kuwait, Senayan City in Jakarta, Indonesia, and Pavilion Kuala Lumpur in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Banana Republic opened its first store in Turkey on March 15, 2008 in the Kanyon Shopping Mall, Istanbul. [ [ Fiba Grubu ] ] 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 6. [ [ Fiba Grubu ] ]

On March 20, 2008, Banana Republic opened its 17,000 square foot flagship store on Regent Street in London, United Kingdom. [ [,frameless.htm?NRMODE=Published Regent Street Online - The Banana Republic ] ] On May 09, 2008, Banana Republic opened its flagship store on Greenbelt 5 in Makati City, Philippines.

In March 2008 Banana Republic was criticized by War on Want for allegedly employing workers at sub contractors in India at rates as low as 30 cents (US) an hour for a 70 hour week. The company immediately launched an investigation to determine the accuracy of such claims and reiterated its strong condemnation of such working conditions. [ [ Charity planning Banana Republic protest over employees' plight | Business | The Guardian ] ]


External links

* [ Banana Republic] · Official Website.
* [ Banana Republic] · Japanese Official Website.
* [ Banana Republic] . Official European Website.
* [ Banana Republic Consumer Profile]

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