(Reuters) - Gap Inc (GPS.N) will buy women's fashion boutique Intermix Inc for $130 million (80 million pounds) to enter the luxury clothes market, the Wall Street Journal reported.
The casual-clothes retailer plans to double Intermix's store count and look for opportunities to expand the chain overseas, the Journal said, quoting Art Peck, president in charge of new brands at Gap.
Intermix, which does not produce its own clothes and has about 30 stores in the United States and Canada, has relationships with designers, including Herve Leger, Yves Saint Laurent and Rag & Bone, from which Gap could benefit.
"We are the incubator with emerging brands and we can help them out with collaborations," Intermix founder and chief executive, Khajak Keledjian told the Wall Street Journal. Keledjian will remain at the company as chief creative officer.
The deal is the latest by Gap since it paid $150 million in 2008 for women's active apparel retailer Athleta, an acquisition aimed at tapping demand for yoga and workout gear, the Journal said.
Officials with Gap could not be reached for comment outside regular U.S. business hours.
Gap, which competes with Swedish retailer H & M Hennes & Mauritz AB (HMb.ST), H&M and Inditex Group's (ITX.MC) Zara, is also closing about a fifth of its North American namesake stores, the Journal daily said.
Reporting by Avik Das in Bangalore