Teen apparel retailer Abercrombie & Fitch is opening its first Hollister Co store in New York City in spring 2009, as a prelude to the chain's international expansion.

The multi-level store in New York's fashionable SoHo area will also be the brand's first flagship, and is described by Thomas D Lennox, vice president corporate communications, Abercrombie & Fitch Co, as an "important step" in its growth.

"The Hollister brand continues to experience broad recognition and our strategy is to leverage its iconic status by continuing to grow the brand," he said.

Abercrombie & Fitch currently has 416 Hollister Co locations in the US and three in Canada. It also operates 362 Abercrombie & Fitch stores, 186 Abercrombie stores, and 17 Ruehl stores in the US.

It opened the first London store for its Abercrombie & Fitch nameplate in March and is now seeking additional locations for the chain in Italy, France, Germany, Spain, Denmark, Sweden and Japan.