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. 

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. 

Italy-based fashion brand Etro recently opened its newly relocated London flagship store, according to Housed in a former art gallery on London's Bond Street, the two story, wood-paneled space spans 6,450 sq. ft. The new store is a cross between a grand aristocratic home and a luxe nomad’s tent, with oil portraits lining the walls, colored Venetian chandeliers in the changing rooms, and Art Deco furniture and light fixtures from the South of France. The store also features the building's original walnut paneling, marquetry and marble fireplaces, as well as skylights and a tiny cupola in the entranceway.

Apparel maker Joe’s Jeans opened a retail store in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, the first of at least seven stores it plans to open in the Middle East. The store at the Mirdif City Centre is part of an agreement with MultiTrend International to open stores in conjunction with exclusive rights to operate retail locations and market the Joe’s brand in Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates.

Philadelphia -- Destination Maternity Corp. said Wednesday that it has opened a 10th Destination Maternity store in the Middle East, this one located in Discovery Center, in Kuwait. Destination Maternity, which also operates under the Motherhood Maternity and A Pea in the Pod banners, has three other stores open and operating in Kuwait. The newest store was opened through its franchisee, Multi Trend, a member of the Al Homaizi Group. Multi Trend has also opened two Destination Maternity stores in the United Arab Emirates, as well as four Destination Maternity stores in Saudi Arabia. Under a multi-year franchise agreement,

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