French kidswear retailer Petit Bateau is to take its first steps into China in a partnership with Hong Kong-based retail firm Fung Group.

Petit Bateau website

Petit Bateau will hit the market with three stores in Beijing, Shanghai and Qingdao, all due to open next year.

The retailer is preparing to open the stores with a local partner, Fung Kids, a Fung Group holding company that operates a number of kids’ brands including US children’s footwear retailer Stride Rite.

Fung Group also operates Toys R Us in Asia and Chinese grocery group Convenience Retail Asia Limited, which has 600 stores across two fascias.

Established in Troyes in 1893, Petit Bateau sells a range of childrenswear and baby clothes. It has 278 stores in worldwide and is distributed in more than 80 markets.