Children's apparel chain Du Pareil au Meme(DPAM) has announced plans to open 80 stores in Spain in the medium term in a move that will take on rival Inditex's Kiddy's Class.

The chain wants to open 20 to 30 stores annually, mostly through franchises, Spanish daily Cinco Dias reported, citing DPAM's General Manager Richard Vidal.

DPAM already operates seven stores in Spain and hopes to run 18 by the end of the year, Vidal reportedly said.

DPAM has 240 stores spread between Spain, Italy, France, Switzerland, Portugal and Japan.

In Spain, the company's main rival will be Kiddy's Class but it will also compete with Zara's children's clothing line and the El Corte Ingles department-store chain.

DPAM delivered sales of EUR132m (US$157.26m) last year, up 6% from 2004, according to Cinco Dias.

By Ivan Castano