Spanish women's apparel chain Mango plans to open 40 stores in Poland by 2011 to make it its second-biggest market in Eastern Europe, a company spokesman told just-style.

The Barcelona-based chain, which is fast expanding around the world, has struck a commercial deal with its Polish franchise operator Ultimate Fashion Sp Zoo to roll out the outlets. Mango will close 2005 with six shops in Poland.

The chain hopes to open a new store in Warsaw in mid-December, the spokesman said, adding that Mango opened shop in Katowice earlier this month.

Since entering Poland in 2001, Mango has opened four stores on the market. The spokesman said "we are very happy", commenting on the company's performance there.

Poland is a promising market for Mango because of its similarity to Spain.

"It has around 40m people and has important cities spread across the country where we can expand. Plus, we have found great locations for the future stores," she said.

Mango has 27 shops in Russia and its expansion pace there will be even more aggressive than in Poland, the spokesman added.

Mango is heavily present in Eastern Europe with stores dotted across most countries. The region accounted for roughly 10% of last year's €1.05bn (US$1.24bn) in global sales.

By Ivan Castano