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DIALOGUE: When Fashion meets Business - Interview with David Sancho CEO of Mango China
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alt David Sancho, a Spaniard, graduated from Ramon Llull University (ESADE),  majoring in Business Law. He joined the Mango team in 2004 as an international lawyer. In 2005, he was appointed Director of Legal Management. One year later, he was named Director of Real Estate Management, where his tasks included responsibility for all Mango company store premises, in addition to searching for new locations and markets in which to expand the brand. Currently his title is CEO of Mango China.
MANGO is the second-largest exporter of women’s fashion in Spain, and it has become a manufacturing powerhouse and international brand. Its idea is based on an alliance between a quality product, based on the latest fashion trends, and an affordable price. This brand image is reinforced by its company-owned stores, which represent the calling card for the brand, and create a dynamic atmosphere to match the personality of its customers. 
The brand, which began its international expansion in 1992, currently has more than 2,400 stores in 106 countries and continues to be Spain’s most internationalised fashion brand. 
One of the key concept’s to Mango’s success is its focus on dressing the urban, young professional with affordable runway fashion, ranging from sporty-casual to chic business attire, and even evening wear.

Future Plans: 

MANGO’s expansion continues with the recent opening of numerous stores in its current market of choice in Asia: Mainland China. 

Could you give an introduction about the story of Mango in China?

Mango first appeared in China in 2002 and currently has 200 retail outlets in the 80 most important cities, in commercial terms, and is planning to consolidate its presence in each of them during 2012.

How does Mango operate in China?alt

Mango has two operational centres, the original one in Barcelona, Spain and last year Mango opened the second one in Shanghai. The Shanghai centre is a corporate office with a local team. They are representatives of the most important departments. The focus of this centre is business in China. 

Why do you think China is a great market for Mango to expand into?

The Asian market is currently made up of two elements; the “designer” luxury brands, and less expensive low quality articles. The idea is to place Mango in an intermediate zone with medium to high quality garments, a zone that is developing on a large scale, with foreign brands as well as local ones trying to get into the competitive market.

Where does Mango produce their garments? Are they all made in China?

Mango has several points of production in Asia. Different items have different production requirements. This determines whether they are made in China, Morocco, or Vietnam. 

Are collections created specifically for China or are they exactly the same as in Europe? Does the brand adapt to Chinese tastes? 


alt Our collections are global, that means you can get the same designs in a store in Europe as you can in Tianjin. We only have six items designed specifically for China. 

How is expansion of Mango planned in China? How do you choose among Chinese cities where a new store is to be established?


 About expanding in China, we had two different plans. One was to establish Mango in first-tier cities such as Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen, then encourage our clients to travel to meet us. The second plan was to spread in first-tier and second-tier cities, and bring the garments to our clients. Finally, we have decided to go with the second plan, and in the last year we have successfully increased from 100 to 200 stores in 80 cities in China.

Let’s talk about the local stores in Tianjin. How many stores do you have at the moment in Tianjin? Are Mango stores in Tianjin franchised operations?


At the moment we have six stores in Tianjin. The first one was a franchise which has been operating successfully for several years. The rest are all company-owned stores which were opened this year in the most important commercial centres of the city, including the latest one we have just opened in Joy City shopping mall.

How do you choose the best place for your store? 

We have completed several studies that take into account location, development, and competition.

Do you have any “HE” stores in Tianjin? Any plans for the future?alt

We still don’t have any HE stores, the men’s apparel line, but our intention is to open the first HE store in China between the end of this year and the beginning of 2013.

How do you promote your brand in China?

Mango, historically, has excelled with fabulous publicity campaigns, always in collaboration with famous celebrities and top models such as Penelope Cruz, Claudia Schiffer, Naomi Campbell, Christy Turlington, Scarlett Johanson, Isabelli Fontana, and, currently, Kate Moss.
Mango always has an investment plan, for advertising in local media, to cover major cities. We usually invest in the main fashion magazines, as well as online sources, and digital TV. For social networks, we have our own accounts on Weibo and Tudou. Also, during the last autumn/winter season, we launched an ambitious global campaign with Kate Moss, which was directed by Terry Richardson.
Furthermore, for a couple of seasons, we have been presenting the new Mango collections  at important fashion shows in Shanghai and Beijing. 

How big is the Chinese market in global terms? 

In 2011, the Chinese market reached 4% of the total turnover forecast for the MANGO Chain(retail price excluding VAT), and expects to reach 5% of the total turnover forecast for the group in 2012.
 

By Silvina Pardo

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