Francesca's on Monday announced the expansion of its Franki tween line with the opening of nine stand-alone Franki stores in the coming weeks.
The 1,200- to 1,600-square-foot stores will be found in A malls “in proven tween markets” where Francesca's does well, according to details emailed to Retail Dive.
The move complements the pop-ups the brand runs in Houston (soon to be a permanent location) and the Washington, D.C. area, as well as a dedicated website and social media accounts active since last year.
But its Franki banner is in expansion mode. In addition to making its Houston location permanent, Franki has opened in the Mall of America. Opening in the coming weeks are stores at Ross Park and King of Prussia malls in Pennsylvania; Menlo Park in New Jersey; Del Amo Fashion Center in California; Altamonte Mall in Florida; Burlington Mall in Massachusetts; and the Mall of Georgia, per the company's email.
These locations will drop new collections at the beginning of each month based in part on "what's going on in tween girls' lives at that time." They will also host events at various occasions including the stores' grand openings and back to school, the company said.
Tween apparel retailer Justice has been a help to the Franki effort in two ways. That once growing brand is now quite diminished, part of the breakdown of the Ascena empire, and therefore less of a challenge to its newer rival. Plus, Francesca's CEO Andrew Clarke oversaw merchandising during many of Justice's best years and presumably understands the space.