|Priority #:||1563 - The Gap, Inc.|
The following is excerpted from the applicant's response to question # 18:
'The Gap, Inc. (“Gap Inc.”) is a leading global retailer serving the needs of consumers around the world through its five brands – Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Athleta, and Piperlime. Gap Inc. has 134,000 employees and stores or franchises in 31 different countries. Gap Inc.’s products are available for purchase online to consumers in over 90 countries, and Gap Inc. content is accessible in the .COM gTLD and the .CA, .CN, .EU, and .JP ccTLDs.
Through a unified corporate approach, Gap Inc. intends to submit five gTLD applications for the strings .GAP, .BANANAREPUBLIC, .OLDNAVY, .ATHLETA, and .PIPERLIME, collectively the Gap Inc. Family of gTLDs.
Gap Inc.’s brands are among the company’s most valuable assets. The protection and growth of the Piperlime brand is of paramount importance to Gap Inc. in all aspects of its operations, including on the Internet. Operating the brand as a gTLD is expected to be an important part of its digital strategy in the future.
Gap Inc. will be analyzing and evaluating other .BRAND gTLD applications as well as general market adoption to determine short- and long-term potential best-in-class use case options to most effectively serve and enhance Gap Inc.’s online strategy as a leading global retailer.
Gap Inc. launched Piperlime, an online-only fashion boutique found at piperlime.com, in 2006. Piperlime features leading third-party brands as well as select private label products and offers customers an assortment of women’s and men’s apparel, handbags, accessories, jewelry, and footwear for adults and children, as well as tips, trends, and advice from leading style experts. Since 2010, customers in select international countries have also been able to shop online at piperlime.com.
The intended future mission and purpose of the .PIPERLIME gTLD is to serve as a trusted, hierarchical, and intuitive namespace provided by Gap Inc., its subsidiaries, partners, and affiliates, for Piperlime brand customers and other consumers. Gap Inc. will be the entity to file this application and bring the .PIPERLIME gTLD to market.
Although ICANN has not specifically recognized a .BRAND gTLD specification in the current round, it is widely anticipated in the brand community that this will become a specialty subset of gTLDs. .PIPERLIME is intended to be one of those .BRAND gTLDs, with the goal of protecting Gap Inc.’s online presence and identity, expanding its marketing and promotion efforts, providing a secure channel for online products and services, and offering a platform through which to consolidate many of the intellectual property activities of Gap Inc.
Gap Inc. intends to initially limit registration and use of domain names within the .PIPERLIME gTLD to Gap Inc., its subsidiaries and qualified affiliates and strategic partners. This initial limited use will allow Gap Inc. to establish its operations and achieve full sustainability.
After year three, Gap Inc. will evaluate whether opportunities exist to carry out the business strategy for the gTLD through expansion that continues the sustainable operations of the registry through fee-based registrations to parties other than Gap Inc., its subsidiaries, affiliates, and partners."