updated 7/19/2005 7:53:46 PM ET 2005-07-19T23:53:46

Sniffing an opportunity to boost its recently sagging sales, clothing retailer Gap Inc. plans to expand its line of perfume and other personal care products next year in a partnership with Inter Parfums Inc.

The San Francisco-based company said Tuesday that the expanded product line will be sold at its Banana Republic stores as well its flagship Gap stores. The expansion doesn’t involve Gap’s discount chain, Old Navy.

New York-based Inter Parfums will be responsible for developing, making and packaging the perfume and other cosmetics. The two companies didn’t disclose the financial details of their alliance.

The expanded Banana Republic line is scheduled to become available during autumn of 2006 while the expanded Gap line will debut in 2007.

“Personal care products are a natural extension of our brands and represent an organic growth opportunity for our company,” said Paul Pressler, Gap’s president and CEO.

Like several other popular clothing brands, Gap already sells some personal care products bearing its name. The company realized it needed to work with a personal care specialist to expand its offerings, Gap spokeswoman Kris Marubio said.

Inter Parfums already distributes perfume and cosmetics as a licensee for Burberry, S.T. Dupont, Paul Smith, Christian Lacroix, Celine, Diane von Furstenberg and Lanvin.

Gap’s expansion comes amid a recent slump in its sales. Through July 2, the company’s same-store sales — a key barometer of a retailer’s health — had declined by 4 percent from last year. The downturn reversed a long stretch of improving results under Pressler, who was lured away from Walt Disney Co. in September 2002 to reinvigorate Gap.

As part of its efforts to boost sales, Gap is opening a fourth retail chain — called Forth & Towne — that will cater to women shoppers over the age of 35. The Forth & Towne concept is scheduled to debut this fall with the opening of five stores in Chicago and New York.

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