Seeking to branch out and use its highly recognizable brands to sell products in other categories than clothing, The Gap, Inc. (NYSE:GPS) said in a press release today that it's inking a partnership with major licensing company IMG. The licensing will focus on a few of The Gap's most popular brands at first, pairing them up with various non-apparel products that match the brand "personality" the company has created for each label.
IMG, or International Management Group, is a company specializing not only in licensing, but also in marketing and media. Founded in 1960 and owned since 2014 as the subsidiary of entertainment agency WME, it operates in approximately 30 countries around the world. The company represents celebrity athletes, sports leagues, and fashion houses. It's also the owner of the Miss Universe Organization.
The Gap says it will use IMG's services to set up licensing connecting its brands to furniture, home décor, baby equipment, and baby care. At this point, the companies are still working out the details of specifically which types of products will be licensed to carry Gap-related labeling.
The press release states that IMG is primarily interested in Janie and Jack, Gap, and Banana Republic branding at this point. The Gap summarized the characteristics it associates with each brand, noting that IMG will focus on "Gap for casual, optimistic American style" along with "Janie and Jack's modern twist on classics for kids and babies; and Banana Republic's iconic, modern style designed for a life with no boundaries."
The move represents a major shift toward what The Gap calls "omnichannel opportunity," diversifying the products carrying the company's branding to potentially profit from markets outside the apparel sector.