Italian fashion giant Benetton Group SpA on Wednesday opened its largest store in the world in China.

Chairman Luciano Benetton opened the four-storey, 3,000 square metre, store in the main shopping area of Shanghai during a special ceremony.

The flagship store is the result of a franchise agreement with Midway Enterprises (Guangzhou) Ltd, a unit of Singapore-based wholesale and retail group Roly International Holdings Ltd.

Only last month, rival Giorgio Armani revealed plans to open up to 30 boutiques in China by 2007 as Western companies look to cash in on the lucrative Chinese market.