French kids' clothing chain Orchestra Premaman is bringing European fast fashion to the United States' pint-sized masses, with the company's first stateside location set to open next month at the King of Prussia Mall.
Orchestra Premaman is opening a 4,405-square-foot store at the Simon Property Group-owned mall on May 15, in a space previously occupied by Children's Place, Agathe Boidin, chief executive of the company's U.S. subsidiary, said in an interview Thursday.
Orchestra Premaman has more than 700 stores in 40 countries nationwide. It is working toward merging with Destination Maternity Corp. after announcing its intent to acquire the Moorestown-based company late last year.
With headquarters in southern France near Montpelier, Orchestra Premaman plans to open 10 to 20 U.S. stores each year starting in 2018, concentrating first on the East Coast, Boidin said.
King of Prussia Mall was selected for the retailer's first U.S. store because of its proximity to the company's national headquarters in Bala Cynwyd, as well as its steady flow of shoppers of varying wealth, Boidin said.
Tenants at the mall range from low-cost retailer "Primark up to Louis Vuitton, so it really is a large range of customers," she said. "We really wanted a place where there is good traffic."
Brokers John Krause and Matt Mandel with real estate services firm CBRE Group represented Orchestra Premaman in the mall lease.
Boidin said Orchestra Premaman will differentiate itself from other kids' brands with the French flair of its clothing design and its constantly refreshing product selection, an approach that recalls that of fast-fashion brands such as Sweden's H&M, though "the quality of our products will be higher."
The average price of a clothing item is $20, with customers able to pay $10 a year to join a club offering discounts of 25 percent, she said.
Once established as a fashion brand, the company plans to open U.S. versions of the kid-centric superstores of up to 50,000 square feet that it operates in other countries. Those locations are designed to draw customers through large sections dedicated to clothing, car seats, strollers and other gear for youngsters, Boidin said.
"It's like IKEA for babies," she said.