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H&M planning more international expansion



H&M is planning an aggressive expansion move with its plan to open approximately 400 new stores during this year into regions such as Taiwan, South Africa, Peru and India


The group opened 379 outlets during last year, which amounts to more than one store per day.


The majority of its new stores are planned to open within the US and China, but will also take place in Germany and Poland.


The clothing group is based in Sweden and holds the position of second-largest global fashion retailer, right behind Inditex, the Spanish owner of Zara.


H&M opened online stores within China, Spain, Italy and France and intends following up with openings in nine other countries during this year, most of which will be in eastern Europe, but including Portugal, Switzerland and Belgium.


The group posted pretax profits of 7.8bn Swedish kronor for the quarter ended November. This was an increase from its figure of SEK7.26bn for the previous year, but it fell below the forecast of SEK7.96bn. Sales increased by 14% to SEK176.6bn, with sales for December and January showing an increase of 15% and 14% respectively.


H&M intends offering a broader range of products, with its launch of H&M Sport one year ago and its expanded shoe range during the autumn. It launched its first wedding dress during last march and there is talk of a beauty range to be launched during autumn.


The latest designer to the fold is Alexander Wang, following in the footsteps of Donatella Versace, Stella McCartney and Karl Lagerfeld, in the creation of a high street collection for the group. It proved popular as shoppers commenced queuing from the night before the sale commenced in the London store.


H&M employs in excess of 132000 people at its 3511 stores across 55 countries. The group stated that 2015 started well, but issued warnings about the expensive US dollar which will affect their sourcing costs.

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