By  on November 23, 2004

MADRID — Mango, the Spanish purveyor of affordable chic, wants to plant its roots in the U.S.

The privately owned company on Monday said it is in negotiations to open its first American store in New York by August and is on the “brink” of signing a deal to open in Canada next year, with three shops in Toronto and one in Montreal.

The moves would make Mango the latest of Europe’s fast-fashion behemoths to target North America. Sweden’s Hennes & Mauritz made a splash when it christened its first store in the U.S. in 2000; and now operates more than 60 units there. It has also moved into Canada.

Mango is second in Spain only to Zara, the chain run by the Inditex retail conglomerate. Sales in 2003 grew 5.4 percent to $1.3 billion, or 1 billion euros at current exchange rates, the firm said.

With over 750 stores in 73 countries, about 200 of them in Spain, Mango characterizes itself as more fashion-forward than Zara, which has 13 U.S. stores.

Isak Halfon, Mango’s expansion director, said Mango plans to open 250 units in the U.S. in the next 10 years and another 25 in Canada over the next five years.

Mango, based in Barcelona, was founded 20 years ago by brothers Isak and Nahman Andic, who are president and vice president, respectively. The company has franchised about 65 percent of its stores, with the rest being company owned. Halfon said Mango would franchise some of its stores in the U.S.

Mango’s fall-winter advertising campaign features model Karolina Kurkova.

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