Tesco clothing brand F&F is ramping up expansion in the US, with its first New York City store opening this week and a further six planned in the region.
A 6,000 sq ft F&F store opened at Westfield South Shore, on the south side of Long Island, on Wednesday (July 2). Drapers understands it has also signed for six other sites in the region, which are now under construction. Three of these stores are expected to open in mid to late August.
In the short to medium term it is thought the focus will be on other east coast states, with more stores expected to open in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Virginia.
F&F’s first US standalone store opened at the Holyoke Mall in Springfield, Massachusetts, on May 16. A second opened at Westfield Trumbull, Connecticut on May 24. Both are operated through franchise partner Alhokair and are around 5,000 sq ft in size.
Shop formats are expected to be based on its three standalone stores in central Europe and to feature the full womenswear, menswear and kidswear ranges. The brand is being pitched as a British-designed fashion label in the US and will compete with high street names such as H&M and Uniqlo.
The move marks the first push into the country since Tesco exited food business Fresh & Wild last autumn. The F&F label is being rolled out with no Tesco branding or reference to its parent.
Chief executive Jason Tarry would not be drawn on the specifics surrounding the US push, but said the team was “learning about the market in a small and controlled way with our partners” and added it was “very early days”.
“We have a short-term plan on the east coast and we are confident of success, but we have got to make sure we learn as we go before making a bigger commitment,” he said.
“The US is the biggest single market in the world, so it would be hard to deny it has great potential.”
F&F has 60 franchise stores across 12 countries, having struck a partnership with Alhokair in January 2012.