Q&A Exclusive: Madrag targets budget-minded, fast-fashion young women

Marianne Wilson
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Madrag Stores operates more than 100 across the United States.

From a single store to a growing fast-fashion chain with more than 100 locations in 13 East Coast states, Madrag Stores has largely flown under the radar. Founded in the mid-1970s, the privately owned, New Jersey-based apparel retailer is best known for trendy fashions that appeal to a budget-minded customer. Price points average $10 to $20. 

Madrag stores are colorful and bold, and are accented with pops of the brand’s signature color — hot pink. The hottest music serves as an apt soundtrack for the fashions and accessories on display. Roughly 50% of the assortment is sold under the Madrag brand. 

In November, Madrag said it was looking to expand.

“We remain optimistic and positive about our business and expansion plans,” stated Nathan Hoffman, president.  “We see significant growth opportunity ahead of us.”

Chain Store Age recently spoke with Hoffman, who has served as president of Madrag Stores since 1996.

How is Madrag positioned in the apparel category…who is the target audience?
We specialize in high-volume delivery of affordable new merchandise on a weekly basis that targets ethnically diverse, fashion-forward customers — from ages 14 and up — of all shapes and sizes.

How does Madrag differentiate itself from its competitors?
Madrag sets the bar high. We are a more fashion-driven company that focuses on the unique, funky and fearless looks of our loyal customers, regardless of their shape, personal style or gender.

We are crazy about helping our customer discover their own unique look for day and play at affordable prices and strive to always bring in on-trend styles in sportswear, shoes, lingerie and accessories.

What is the real estate strategy?
Madrag is always aggressively looking for acquisitions in metro, urban and suburban markets located in power centers, regional and community shopping centers with national tenants, deep discount anchors or discount apparel anchors.

What is the store size?
The typical store is about 7,500 sq. ft.

What is the outlook for expansion?
Our expansion plans include opening 40 stores during the next three years.

To date, Madrag’s strategy has not involved e-commerce. Will that change?
Yes. We plan on launching e-commerce in the near future. We believe it will be a great compliment to our already robust in-store traffic to create a great omnichannel environment.