International News - Spain's Caramelo plots European and American debut

Spanish fashion retailer Caramelo is to expand in Europe, the US and Canada before 2005.

Caramelo will push into the UK, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Finland next year. A foray into North America is set for 2005.

With three main shops in Spain, Caramelo adopts a multi-channel strategy to sell clothing through retailers such as El Corte Ingles.

Rather than open stores, Caramelo will use the same strategy internationally.

Espirito Santo analyst Joaquin Garcia-Romanillos is optimistic about Caramelo's plans for Europe, but believes North America will be challenging.

Present in 27 countries, Caramelo exports 25 per cent of its production.

It expects foreign sales to reach US$15 million (£9.6 million) in 2002.