Mango, Spain's expansionist women's fashion chain, is set to open its first US store in the city of Santa Monica in the Los Angeles metropolitan area, a company spokeswoman told just-style exclusively on Friday.

The Barcelona-based chain has chosen a location in Santa Monica's bustling shopping destination The Third Street Promenade.

The two-floor outlet will measure 800m2 and sell the chain's "affordable yet fashionable" female wears that compete head-to-head with those sold by rival chains such as Inditex-owned Zara and H&M.

The Mango spokeswoman would not reveal why Mango chose California to launch its first stores.

Mango will open future shops in San Francisco, Las Vegas, Boston, Miami and Washington, the spokeswoman confirmed, without providing inauguration dates. The chain also plans to open an insignia store in New York in coming months, she added.

Mango's general manager Enric Casi said recently that if Mango's US venture succeeds, the company will boost its yearly expansion rate to 130 stores form 100 now.

With over 770 stores spread around the globe, Mango will open its US shops through 50/50 joint ventures with local partners, according to Casi.

Mango, which recently opened its first Canadian stores, will face tough competition in the US where rival Zara is expanding and where chains such as GAP and Banana Republic have market strongholds.

By Ivan Castano