International News - Claire's Accessories to test Spanish market with standalone stores

Claire's Accessories is to add Spanish outlets to its European portfolio of 600 stores across the UK, Ireland, France, Austria, Switzerland and Germany.

The retailer is likely to test the market, initially with standalone stores in major Spanish cities.

Claire's launched in the UK in 1996 and expanded into Europe by acquiring businesses that have since been rebadged as Claire's.

According to the retailer's US parent, operating margins in Europe consistently exceed those in North America. Sales per sq ft are approximately 250 per cent higher than in the US. As a result, Claire's is concentrating its expansion in Europe and 130 stores are planned this year.