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Mecox plans to add 2,000 stores in 2 years

MECOX Lane, China's leading mail order company, plans to shift its focus to retail stores with the addition of 2,000 outlets across the nation within two years to compete with Western brands such as Zara and H&M.

Shanghai Mecox Lane International Mailorder Company also plans to invest heavily in logistics, setting up both a call and purchasing center this year in preparation for listing on the Nasdaq stock exchange next year.

"Sales in the first quarter jumped 67 percent from a year ago despite the sluggish retail market. And we still see much space for growth," said Gu Beichun, chief executive officer of Mecox Lane. "Our goal is to create China's 'fast fashion' like Zara and H&M."

"Different from rivals such as Uniqlo, which launched an online shopping site, we will focus on expanding our store network to develop our business model and secure stable growth," Gu said.

Mecox Lane runs about 200 outlets in the country now after it started as a mail order company for apparel and accessories. It has also expanded into online shopping and telephone sales.

"Retail sales are expected to pick up in the second quarter," said Chen Hui, an analyst at Bohai Securities Co. "There are obvious signs of a recovery in the retail market and it would take less time for new stores to turn profitable."


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