H&M backs China, India

Sweden’s H&M has followed in the footsteps of archrival Uniqlo in voicing its confidence in the China market despite the economic slowdown.

Like Uniqlo H&M is aimed at the mass market, not the high end luxury sector most hit by the tightened spending of Chinese consumers.

H&M says it will open 70 stores in China in the year to November 30, taking its network up to just over 300.

Like Uniqlo, the company says it sees itself appealing to cost-conscious shoppers.

In an interview in Hong Kong on Monday, H&M country manager for Greater China, Magnus Olsson, said the brand’s customers say they enjoy spending with H&M and they plan to shop more in future.

“Those signs we think override some other maybe noise in the marketplace right now. We’re humble but confident.”

H&M will open its largest store yet in Asia in Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, on October 30.

H&M group’s sales in the nine months to August rose 22 per cent globally; expressed in local currency, by 12 per cent.

In the fourth quarter of this year H&M plans to open about 240 new stores – almost three per day.

It will enter India and South Africa this autumn, with maiden stores in New Delhi this week and in Cape Town in October.


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