Just in time for summer, Mango’s “New Med” has landed in Paris. The Spanish brand brought its breezy, beach-inspired design concept to the Boulevard Haussmann flagship with a splashy preview Friday ahead of its weekend opening, which offered a series of activations including an ice cream truck.
The two-level, 15,000-square-foot store has been given a major makeover, with bright white walls, terrazzo treatments and wood floors, arches and flowing spaces meant to evoke a seaside villa. Architects raised the ceilings and uncovered the original windows to allow in lots of natural light. The brand built a giant wave-like installation of Esparto, a grass weaving technique native to the coastal city of Alicante.
The flagship is the grande dame of Mango’s overall growth plan for France. The company is investing 3.5 million euros to renovate the rest of its stores in the capital, and will freshen up many of its existing stores across the country with the new design concept. The retailer anticipates opening 70 new stores over the next two years at a fast clip of two stores a month, and will expand into Galeries Lafayette department stores, for a total of 300 points of sale in France by the end of 2025.
“In some stores it’s the total package, and in others, it may not be everything, but we want to create change and improve the image of our stores,” global retail director César de Vicente told WWD. Some existing shops will expand their footprints, adding men’s and kids’ lines in some hot spots. “We have a lot of potential in some of these markets.”
De Vicente noted that Mango has been present in the territory since 1998 and has high brand recognition across the country, in contrast to the U.S. where it is planning a major expansion after a few sporadic fits and starts and failing to establish a foothold there. India is another growth target for the company, through its partnership with Myntra, he said.
“Here in Europe we are in a lot of markets, but in some our presence is not that big,” said de Vicente. “That’s why we are focusing on our, let’s say, most important markets in Europe like France, Spain, Italy, where we want to push our expansion. That’s why France is one of our markets where we want to spend.”
The Boulevard Haussmann store has more than 1.6 million shoppers pass through its doors every year, and it’s his mission to upgrade and hyper-personalize the experience. This includes in-store style advisers, integrating online sales and returns, and RFID tags to better track stock across the sales floor as well as integration with its loyalty program to track customers across omnichannel platforms.
“We strongly believe in physical stores. We are in an ecosystem of channels,” de Vicente said, of their shop, franchise, online direct sales and marketplace mix. “So that’s why the clarity of stores is very important. For us, the human contact is very, very important.”
Mango is using artificial intelligence to better forecast and trim its product mix. “We are working on how to adapt product assignation for every store,” said de Vicente. That covers quantities, pricing, what will move and what might become leftover, discounted stock. “These kinds of systems allow us to optimize and improve the customer service, and adapt to every market. What’s very important is this agility here actually, it’s like always, always moving.”
The flagship offers a Committed box for customers to drop off used clothing for recycling, in partnership with German collection company I:CO for textile management. But the fast-fashion brand still continues apace, with drops every two weeks.
The company also aims to have 100 percent of its product carry the Committed label by the end of 2022. Committed garments from Mango contain at least 30 percent “more sustainable” fibers.