MADRID — Spain’s Mango chain envisions rolling out 250 stores in the U.S. over the next decade, provided it can find the right real estate.

“It’s difficult to get a good location, so the U.S. rollout is taking time,” Isak Halfon, Mango’s expansion director, said in an interview.

He noted, for example, that the Barcelona-based fast-fashion chain is “struggling” to find a New York locale. “We’re scouting options like Fifth Avenue, SoHo [and] Broadway, but it’s not easy,” Halfon said, adding the company is seeking a one-level space of roughly 6,700 square feet.

Earlier this month, Mango announced plans to open its first U.S. location, in Santa Monica, Calif., in late November. “And maybe we’ll open in a smaller L.A. mall later in the year,” Halfon suggested. Seattle is another hot candidate for a franchised operation.

Also on the U.S. drawing board are Washington, D.C., Miami and possibly New Jersey, where Mango is readying for an October opening of a distribution center to service the U.S. market. Halfon said the U.S. could account for 10 percent of total global sales by 2010.

Turning to other international markets, Halfon ticked off three fall openings slated for Montreal, which will increase Mango’s Canadian presence to six stores, and three “imminent” openings in Saudi Arabia. Additional stores in Armenia and Bosnia are planned for the second half of the year.

The Chinese market — where Mango has 18 stores — is “improving a lot,” Halfon said. Four new locations there are scheduled to open by yearend.

Currently, Mango operates 808 stores in 78 countries.

This story first appeared in the June 29, 2005 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

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