MANGO GROWING A LARGE CROP OF STORES

Byline: Kavita Daswani

HONG KONG — At least one Mango store opens somewhere in the world every few days.
That appears to be a pretty accurate figure, judging by the Spanish fashion chain’s recent activities here.
Early last month, the Barcelona-based women’s label set up in Festival Walk, a busy shopping mall catering to young, middle-income consumers, with a 6,000- square-foot store. Two weeks later Mango opened a 5,300-square-foot outlet in the basement of the Landmark, a more upscale shopping arcade in the city’s Central shopping district.
And, in the next three months, it will open a 3,000-square-foot shop in the popular Pacific Place mall, in a space to be vacated by Warner Bros. There will also be a new 3,500-square-foot store in Raffles City, Singapore, opening in April.
Some 16 Mango shops have opened in Japan since 1996, six more are now in Singapore — including its biggest in Asia, a 7,500-square-foot shop in Suntec City — and several others are scattered through Malaysia, Indonesia and Taiwan. The first Mango store in China is slated to open later this year.
“We always thought it would do well here,” said Kesri Singh, general manager of Gagan Hong Kong Ltd., the franchisee for Hong Kong.
Singh said that as the holiday season approached, women were rushing in to buy evening dresses — with lots of sequins, satin, Lurex metallics and corset tops — at unbeatable prices: Mango retails from $25 for a T-shirt to around $300 for leather items (prices are in U.S. dollars).
“It’s young and fashionable and prices are very competitive. And the fit is nice — it works for women in this part of the world,” said Singh.
The company seems to be doing especially well in the Landmark store, where he says “the flow of consumers is better.” Apart from eveningwear, customers were buying pieces from other categories, such as casual, sportswear and dressy. The stores also carry an accessories line.
“People here travel to Europe and would have seen the brand there, so some awareness of the name was always there. For that reason, we were sure it would catch on reasonably fast,” he said.
Singh anticipates that the Landmark store will bring in a turnover of around $1,200 per square foot annually, even at prices that compare with domestic brands such as Esprit and G-2000.
“If a place like Hong Kong can take 30 Esprit stores, or numerous stores like Kookai, I’m sure it can definitely take more Mango stores,” said Singh.

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