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Foreign Apparel Retailers Discover Allure Of U.S. Malls

Moderately priced apparel retailers from Europe, Asia and Canada are taking advantage of both the weak dollar and favorable terms on store leases in following high-end European designers to the malls of America. At many malls, developers looking for new concepts to excite shoppers are giving international retailers the deals traditionally reserved for top tenants.

Sweden's Hennes & Mauritz AB, with 156 U.S. stores, calls the U.S. its "largest expansion market." Canadian yoga-wear retailer lululemon athletica Inc. plans to open 32 U.S. stores this fiscal year, almost doubling its U.S. presence to 66 stores. South Korea's Who.A.U hopes to open 450 stores here in the next 10 years. And Canadian teen retailer Garage hopes to have 500 stores in U.S. malls in seven to 10 years.

Foreign retailers have had an outsize impact on the U.S. market. The invasion of fast-fashion chains like H&M and Spain's Zara -- which sometimes even update the merchandise in their stores daily -- has prompted U.S. retailers from Gap to J.C. Penney to update their selections faster or more often.



Read the whole story at The Wall Street Journal »

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