Fashion Retailer H&M to Open 4,000 More Stores
Karl-Johan Persson the CEO at Hennes & Mauritz forecast that the clothier would more than double the number of stores it has, to close the gap between itself and it bigger rival Spain’s Inditex, and as online giant Amazon.com increases the competition in the fast fashion industry.
Persson said he thought the company would reach a store count of between 7,000 and 8,000. He added that the company did not feel stressed to have a certain store count or be number one in size, but that expansion was in progress.
H&M would be at the level of between 7,000 and 8,000 stores between four and eight years from now, based on the goal it set of increasing store count by between 10% and 15% annually.
This expansion comes as Amazon.com the giant in e-commerce reportedly introduced a host of private label fashions and Inditex the operator of Zara stores reined in its plans to expand its stores in favor of online investing.
H&M, based in Sweden, reported earnings for the quarter on Wednesday that dropped the most in the past five years as the strong U.S. dollar inflated the cost of garments made in Asia.
Earnings prior to taxes and interest were down 29% to just over 3.26 billion kronor or $400 million for the three-month period that ended February 29.
Analysts were expecting 3.21 billion kronor. Gross margin reached 52%, which beat analyst estimates of 51.5%.
Inditex has over 7,000 stores operating. H&M had just over 2,000 during 2010 and soon will be opening its 4,000th in India. H&M is also planning to bring sales online to 11 countries more in 2016, including Japan and Ireland.
Persson said he admired Amazon a great deal. He said the H&M and other businesses will bring different things to the fashion world and our company as well, has shown we fare well.
The CEO said the company’s online investing was only being done where it had good profitability and said the business would unveil more new details of a new chain it is working on near the end of the year.
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