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By Corina Pons
BARCELONA, Spain (Reuters) -Spanish fashion retailer Mango is focusing on U.S. expansion after turning its back on China, Chief Executive Officer Toni Ruiz said.
Mango is returning to the United States – after two previous attempts failed – offering higher-priced clothes meant for special occasions and parties. It will target states where online sales are already strong.
The brand is already gaining more recognition in the U.S. and dressed actress Amber Valletta for the Oscars after-party on Sunday, Ruiz told Reuters.
“Something has changed,” he said in an interview at the company’s headquarters near Barcelona. “They now have a different and better perception of European brands.”
Mango’s U.S. relaunch began with the opening of a flagship store on New York’s Fifth Avenue in May 2022. That was followed by expansion in Florida. This year, it will open stores in Texas, Georgia and California.
The company hopes to have 40 stores in the U.S. by 2024, compared with 10 at present. That would place the U.S. in its top five global markets.
Growth will be supported by the extension of a logistics centre in Catalonia, allowing it to shift 160 million items a year to serve shops and online customers globally, the company said.
In contrast, Mango closed its remaining two stores in China last year. It maintains four franchise outlets and online sales through Alibaba’s Tmall e-commerce platform.
“We are divesting in China,” said Ruiz. “We find it unattractive and have decided that it is not the priority for the next three years.”
Mango reported record sales last year, helped by selling more items at higher prices. Its biggest rival, Inditex-owned label Zara, is expected to report record sales on Wednesday, partly due to its aggressive U.S. expansion.
The recent aggressive entry of Chinese fast-fashion brands Shein and Temu into the same market is not a concern for Mango, said Ruiz.
“It’s not our war,” he said. “If you were fighting with these brands you would be constantly lowering prices.”
($1 = 0.9341 euros)
(Reporting by Corina Pons; Writing by Charlie Devereux; Editing by Matt Scuffham and Alison Williams)