As the U.S. retail market becomes increasingly saturated with discretionary goods offerings, some of the country's best-known brands have been looking overseas for sources of growth. Several of these retailers have been operating international locations for some time and feel ready to spread their influence further. Others will be making their first trip abroad, hoping for the best.
Specialty apparel seller J.Crew plans to open its first Canadian store in August. The approximately 5,000-square-foot store will be located at Toronto's Yorkdale Center, one of the best malls in the country. This will be J.Crew's first international location.
In March, frozen yogurt chain Pinkberry opened its first store in Russia, at the Enka Tower in Moscow. The chain already operates stores in Canada, Peru, Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain and United Arab Emirates.
In May, fast fashion retailer Forever 21 entered Austria, with the opening of a flagship store in Vienna. It now operates at Karntnerstrasse 9 and at Mariahilferstrasse 47. In June, it followed up with a store in Barcelona. The chain, a seasoned international operator, will also open its first French location at Velizy 2 shopping center in Paris next spring.
American Eagle Outfitters has already signed a franchise agreement with Fox-Wizel Ltd to open American Eagle and aerie stores in Israel starting in 2012. It also plans to enter Hong Kong and Beijing.
The Gap's international division has been bringing in such robust sales, the chain plans to open the first Gap store in Egypt at the Mall of Arabia in Cairo this July and the first Banana Republic store in Morocco at the Morocco Mall in Casablanca in October.