SAN FRANCISCO (CBS/AP) – Gap Inc. is betting big on China, announcing plans to triple the number of its namesake stores in that region by the end of next year.

The company will have opened about 15 stores by year-end and plans to have a total of 45 by the end of 2012.

The clothing chain said Thursday that it’s on track to reduce its overall square footage by 10 percent by fiscal 2012, when compared with 2007. That includes shrinking space at its namesake stores in North America by 34 percent, resulting in a total of 700 Gap locations by the end of 2013.

The company, which operates Gap, Banana Republic and Old Navy stores, has been struggling with tough competition and sluggish sales in the U.S.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS SF. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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