U.S. retail company, the Gap, Inc. on Aug. 23 revealed plans to expand into Vietnam as part of its effort to carve out a bigger spot in the global apparel market.

The San Francisco-based apparel retailer said its first Gap store is set to open in October and Banana Republic will make its debut in late 2012, both in Vietnam ’s largest city, Ho Chi Minh City . More locations will open in Hanoi in 2012.

According to the Gap, Inc., a global specialty retailer offering clothing, accessories, and personal care products for men, women, children, and babies under the Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic, Piperlime, and Athleta brands, Vietnam boasts a relatively young population with more than 90 percent of its 86 million people under 65.

" Vietnam ’s rapidly growing economy provides ample opportunity to introduce the Gap and Banana Republic brands to local consumers," said Stefan Laban, managing director of strategic alliances for Gap.

The stores in Vietnam will house products from Gap, GapKids and babyGap and Banana Republic’s luxury apparel and accessories for men and women.

"These openings will mark yet another important step for the company as we accelerate our growth into international markets," Laban said.

Gap has about 3,100 company-run stores in more than 90 countries and territories. The company intends to double its franchise stores to 400 by fiscal 2014./.