Translated by
Nicola Mira
Mar 30, 2017
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Orchestra to open first USA store in May

Translated by
Nicola Mira
Mar 30, 2017

Orchestra is out to conquer the US market. The French childrenswear group which at the end of December merged with the USA's number one maternity wear retailer, Destination Maternity, will open its first monobrand store in the country next May. The Orchestra store will be located in Philadelphia, inside the King of Prussia shopping mall, and will sell both apparel and baby products.

Since 1995 Orchestra has bought Kazibao, Babycare, Pomme Framboise, Dipaki, Baby 2000, Home Market and Prémaman - Orchestra

The French group, which also bought Belgian retailer Prémaman in 2012, is supporting its first US opening with a robust deployment plan: Orchestra corners will open inside selected Destination Maternity stores in the country (where they number 1,240 in total) and a dedicated e-store will soon go live.

Orchestra is clearly relying on Destination Maternity to establish itself in the USA, regarded as the world's largest and most profitable childrenswear market, worth approximately $25 billion. Destination Maternity is based in Moorestown, near Philadelphia, and will put at the French group's disposal "a cutting edge sales infrastructure, a remarkable customer pool of pregnant women and young mothers, and a strong American management team with plenty of local know-how," wrote Orchestra in the press realise announcing the deal. The merger with Destination Maternity (Motherhood Maternity, A pea in the pod, Jessica Simpson Maternity) will officially come into effect in mid-2017, establishing a new corporation, simply called Orchestra, whose consolidated sales are valued at $1.1 billion, or €1.05 billion.

French retailer Orchestra currently operates 292 directly owned and 256 franchised stores worldwide. The group has recently inked a deal with Cevital to launch into Algeria. It also recently opened a 3,000 m2 store in Tangier, Morocco, its largest in Africa, and is currently negotiating for an introduction in the Middle East.

By 2018 the group plans to open another 80 stores worldwide, of which about fifty in France. Charles Vexiau, in charge of franchising development at Orchestra, said at the recent Franchising fair in Paris that the retailer wants to reduce the number of directly owned stores in France, putting more of them in the hands of franchisees. Altogether, Orchestra's French network consists of 307 stores, half of them directly operated and the other half in franchising. Charles Vexiau also emphasised how baby products will become more important for the group. "Only fifty or so stores offer the range at the moment, and we want to grow to 150 mixed [childrenswear plus baby products] stores."

Orchestra was founded in 1995, and over 60% of its revenue currently comes from its French domestic market. However, its international business is contributing strongly to growth, and in the third quarter of its non-calendar 2016-17 fiscal year, international sales grew 13% on a yearly basis, while overall sales grew by 7.5%.

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