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David Charles plots China store spree

British girlswear brand David Charles is preparing for major expansion in China following the opening of a standalone store in Shanghai earlier this year.

David Charles, which creates high-end dresses for girls aged six months to 12 years, is set to open 50 stores in the country over the next five years. Two stores will open in Shanghai this month.

The brand is working with Chinese licensee Unisal for its first four stores and is hunting for a franchisee to manage its future shops in locations such as Beijing and Hong Kong.

David Charles co-founder David Graff, who set up the brand in 1970, said his plans had been stoked by the rise of China’s middle classes.

“I’ve been sourcing fabric in China for many years and over the years I’ve seen, particularly in Shanghai, the growing middle class and the growth of the top end of the [retail] market,” he said.

David Charles opened its first-ever store last month, in Saint Petersburg in Russia with local kidswear retailer Montpelier, which it hopes will be the first of many.

The brand has 20 UK stockists including Harrods. Wholesale prices range from £35 to £150.

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