MNG’s Aussie plans
As more international retailers make their way to Australia, Spanish fashion giant, Mango, is looking to rebuild its presence, with plans to introduce its latest store concept and new fashion lines to the local market.
But will it be a case of third time lucky for the brand that has failed to win over the hearts, minds, and purse strings of Aussie consumers?
In the last 12 months Mango has undergone a series of changes. The fashion label has grown its brand portfolio, targeting children, and upmarket, curvy fashionistas, launching its first children’s wear line, Mango Kids, and plus size range, Violeta.
Aside from its core womenswear range and outlet offering, Mango also produces menswear, with H.E by Mango launched in 2008.
On this year’s Westfield Retail Study Tour in Barcelona, participants were told of the brand’s intention to grow the number of Mango’s concession and standalone stores in Australia, and possibly introduce the new brands to the local market.
In Australia, Mango trades under a concession model in department store, David Jones, under the MNG moniker.
MNG also has one standalone store in Melbourne via a local franchise partnership with RSH Limited, which owns Novo Shoes.
In contrast to rival and fellow Spanish label, Zara, Mango has failed to gain traction in Australia, despite having a local presence for almost a decade.
The label has previously come under fire by Australian consumers for its pricing, which is significantly higher than that of overseas Mango stores, and seasonality issues.
At its peak in the mid 2000s, Mango had eight standalone stores trading in Melbourne, Sydney, and Perth.
Now, it appears the label may be on the comeback trail.
“We’re looking to open more stores in David Jones, standalone stores, and we’re and also exploring the possibility of launching the new brands in Australia,” Jerónimo García Cortés, expansion director, Asia, Australia, and New Zealand at Mango, said.
The Mango tree
The label, which generates more than $3 billion in sales annually, was founded in Barcelona in 1984.
Fast forward to 2014 and the brand has 2415 stores in 107 countries, with the latest markets including Tokyo and Beijing.
The company has more than 11,200 employees, 1800 of whom work at its headquarters and Hangar Design Centre in Palau Solità i Plegamans in Barcelona.
Mango introduced Kids in September 2013, followed by Violeta in January 2014.
“We felt it was a market niche that was not covered,” Cortés said of the launch of Violeta.
As well as growing its ranges, Mango is increasing store footprints, thanks to a multi-store concept. Multi-store concepts house all four brands under one roof, including womenswear, menswear, childrens, and Violeta.
These stores require a minimum footprint of 1000sqm, but Cortés told the Westfield Retail Study Tour the ideal is between 1500sqm to 2000sqm to be able to showcase each brand’s entire collection.
“We realised that the smart way to grow was to diversify. So far it has proven to be the right thing to do, and we probably should have done it earlier,” Cortés said.
“It’s not easy to rollout the multi-stores because you need a minimum size of 1000sqm, so we’re happy to open a standalone to build brand awareness, but ideally we’d like to have all brands together to be able to target the whole family.”
Cortés says it would be ideal for Mango to introduce its additional brands to the Australian market via a multi-concept store.
“To open first in a bigger, standalone store would be ideal, but if we get an opportunity to do it through David Jones we would do that as well.”
Mango hopes to rollout 100 multi-stores a year worldwide, with plans to convert standalone womenswear stores to either Mango Kids or Violeta to raise awareness.
“If we have a Mango store that’s 300sqm we would now use this location for another brand like Violeta.”
Mango has e-commerce platforms in 46 countries in Europe, Asia, and North America. In Spain, online makes up around 15 per cent of total sales.
The company has placed plans for its outlet offering on hold, with only multi-level stores exceeding 2000sqm to have a discount line instore.
“We have outlet stores, but this is not included in multi-concept stores. If we have a large area that’s over 2000sqm maybe we would do it, but if not, we’ll just focus on the other brands.”
Mango names its main competitor as Zara, and says it is looking into infant clothing and homewares in a bid to compete with Zara’s homewares concept, Zara Home.
It is also eying the tween/teen market, with the 14 to 18 year old age bracket the only age demographic the brand doesn’t cover.
“We’re opening much bigger stores, so we do want to,” García Cortés said of the budding market.
“There’s a plan to launch it now, but because we have two new brands, we first want to focus on them and localising them, and then go into the next phase.
“It’s just a matter of time.”