Middle East

San Francisco-based Gap Inc. signed deals to open Old Navy stores in six countries in the Middle East next year. Franchisees Fawaz A. Alhokair & Co. and Azadea will open the new stores beginning in the U.A.E., Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Gap has had Gap and Banana Republic stores in the region since 2007. "Entering the Middle East is an important milestone in our strategy to share Old Navy with a broader, global customer base," said Robert Frank, executive vice president of Old Navy International, in a company statement. 

LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA ended a longstanding dispute with Google, agreeing to work with the world's largest search engine to help prevent vendors from advertising counterfeit goods online. LVMH had accused Google of violating its trademark rights by selling protected words as keywords that then link users to websites selling counterfeit items when they search under the French company's brands. Google in 2010 allowed the practice, following a European Union court ruling, bringing the company's policy in Europe in line with company rules in about 190 countries. 

Wal-Mart named 13 executives to its U.S. merchandising operations, marking the latest shake-up since CEO Doug McMillon took the reins in February. As part of the changes, Scott Huff will be promoted to executive vice president overseeing merchandising operations for the U.S., according to a company memo sent by U.S. Chief Merchandising Officer Duncan Mac Naughton. Huff has been at Wal-Mart since 1994, when he started as an intern. The Bentonville, Arkansas-based company also named new executives to oversee everything from consumables and sales innovation to baby products and adult beverages.

eBay is expanding its global shipping program (GSP) yet again, this time to nine additional countries, including some located in the Middle East and Southeast Asia. eBay is pushing sellers to use the GSP to make their items available to buyers in 44 countries — soon to be 53 — but without having to ship internationally. eBay will add the following nine countries to the GSP program beginning April 8: Saudi Arabia, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Croatia, Malaysia and Turkey. 

NEW YORK — Christopher Burch’s colorful, monogram-happy C. Wonder retail concept is going global. Just two years into the life of the brand, Burch, chief executive officer of Christopher Burch...

The wealthy, fashion-loving states of the Arabian Gulf are famous for their lavish, mega-sized shopping malls. But alongside these temples to physical retail, e-commerce is expected to grow dramatically in the region over the next few years, fueled by rising broadband penetration and growing comfort with online payment amongst a population that's increasingly tech savvy and wired.

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