A store in Menlo Park Mall in Edison, N.J., opened last weekend, and in the first quarter of 2021, two more Mango stores will open, in the Roosevelt Field Mall in Garden City, N.Y., and the Dadeland Mall in Miami.
The stores will sell the “full assortments” of Mango’s men’s, women’s and kids collections, and will average about 5,000 square feet each, Zachary Beloff, national director of business development at Simon, told WWD on Tuesday.
He said Simon established a typical leasing arrangement with Mango, adding that the brand signed long-term leases.
Asked if more than three locations are being planned at this point, Beloff said, “We will see if they extend to additional properties.” That would depend on how the brand performs in the Simon malls, though Beloff is optimistic. “Mango is a globally renowned brand that we believe has a strong brick-and-mortar future in the U.S.,” he said. “Previously, Mango had select locations in markets in the U.S. The idea with these three locations is that they’re in keeping with markets Mango is already familiar with and where customers are already familiar with Mango,” Beloff said.
Asked if the Mango partnership was part of a bigger Simon strategy, he said, “We are always working to find new brands that originate online or overseas. We are always at the forefront of incubating, nurturing and introducing brands to our portfolio. I work on it every day. We have a team for new business, focused on introducing new brands to the portfolio and trying to make their experience and on-boarding process as seamless as possible for them.”
As far as focusing on any sectors or merchandise categories to bring to Simon shopping centers, Beloff replied, “We are working with brands, experiences and concepts across various categories. It’s across the board,” including apparel, home, health and wellness, he said. “I am confident we will have many new retailers in our portfolio next year.”
“Mango has had a presence in the U.S. for a number of years. Very recently, it’s become focused on wholesale distribution and online. It’s obvious it resonates with customers,” Beloff said.
In its announcement, Simon, the nation’s largest shopping center developer and operator, said the three shopping centers housing the Mango stores would “jumpstart” the expansion of Mango’s Mediterranean brand to the American consumer.
The Barcelona-based Mango is a successful, high-profile, energetic brand with a presence in many countries around the world. It could be instrumental in helping Simon fill vacancies left by the rash of store closings and retail bankruptcies.
Still, the apparel specialty sector, especially women’s sportswear, has been a weak performer in the U.S. for several years. Shopping centers have devoted too much square footage to too many apparel brands, resulting in a sea of merchandise sameness and not enough newness. The list of ailing apparel brands is long, including J. Crew, J. Jill, Brooks Brothers, Express, Victoria’s Secret, Gap, Banana Republic and Forever 21.
“Mango has been focused on enhancing brand recognition in the U.S. with investments in wholesale and e-commerce distribution,” said Daniel López, Mango’s director of expansion and franchises. “The next logical step is acceleration of our physical presence, which will materialize with our Simon openings.”
Mango has been selling in the U.S. since 2006 through different channels, including freestanding stores, e-commerce and wholesaling.
In 2009, Mango launched a five-year partnership with J.C. Penney to operate MNG by Mango shops inside Penney’s stores. The Spanish retailer declined to renew the deal, having reportedly realized only a 0.5 percent sales bump from the Penney’s MNG by Mango shops. All 450 MNG by Mango shops-in-shop were closed. The deal was reminiscent of when the Italian brand Benetton opened shops inside Sears, which also eventually failed.
Since the Penney’s venture, Mango has been cautious with its U.S. expansion. The brand sold for awhile on the web site of Lord & Taylor, which went bankrupt earlier this year. (L&T is liquidating, and has sold its intellectual property to the Saadia Group, which said it would revive the L&T web site.)
In 2017, Mango renovated its store on Broadway in SoHo with an emphasis on art, culture and technology as well as fashion, and in 2019 Macy’s started selling the brand in select stores. Also, in 2019, e-commerce was launched in the U.S. Mango has recently been aggressive growing e-commerce, and last month told WWD that it expects its online sales to reach 800 million euros this year, from 564 million euros in 2019, and top 1 billion euros in 2021. The company had total 2019 sales of 2.374 billion euros, of which 24 percent were generated through e-commerce.
Mango, started in 1984 by Isak Andic who still owns the company, produces about 150 million fashion pieces a year, in women’s, men’s, kids and its plus-size line called Violeta by Mango.