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Gap, Old Navy Seeking Shops

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SRI Handling Search for Direct, Web Help
LOS ANGELES--Gap Inc., traditionally one of the most agency-shy clients in the country, has started a search for one or more shops to help its Gap apparel chain with interactive and direct marketing. Gap's Old Navy unit also has some business up for grabs, sources said.
Rebecca Weill, a representative of Gap, San Francisco, which handles its advertising and Web site development in-house, confirmed the company is "looking for partners to expand its Web site and online store."
Select Resources International, Los Angeles, is conducting the review, said sources, and has contacted about 10 shops in New York, Los Angeles, Boston and San Francisco. The winner will be expected to work directly with Gap's in-house interactive team and ad department, said sources.
Weill said the duties in play are limited to the 900-store Gap chain and do not include the company's Old Navy and Banana Republic subsidiaries. However, sources said executives from Old Navy, the 300-store discount chain, have also been talking informally with shops about building its Web site and possibly handling some creative work.
Sources said the $6 billion parent plans to spend more than $20 million to expand its direct and interactive efforts, which it sees as a way to strengthen its ties with customers.
The company spent $80 million on ads in 1997 and $55 million through May of this year, per Competitive Media Reporting.
--with staff report