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H&M to open first store in India in 2014

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Sweden's H&M sees "great potential" in India. File photo: TT
09:00 CET+01:00
H&M plans to open its first store in India before the end of 2014, the Swedish fashion giant announced on Wednesday, naming two cities as likely locations for the flagship store.

"We are very excited to open our first store in India. It is one of the most exciting countries in the world right now, with so much potential," H&M CEO Karl-Johan Persson said in a statement.

H&M has long been eyeing the Indian market, and is now planning to move forward with expansion plans after finally receiving the necessary approvals to start up operations.

"We've had lots of feedback from local customers telling us they want a store in India," H&M spokeswoman Kristina Stenvinkel told The Local.

Plans call for the first H&M to open in the "second half" of 2014, although the exact date and location have yet to be set.

"We're looking at several different locations, but nothing is certain," said Stenvinkel.

"We're obviously looking at Mumbai and New Delhi, but there are a lot of other interesting cities as well."

In addition to opening a flagship store in India, H&M also plans to open its first outlets in Australia and the Philippines in 2014.

The announcement by H&M comes nearly a year after the Indian government first revealed the Swedish retailer had applied to make a 100-million-euro ($131-million) investment in the south Asian country, with plans to open 50 stores overall.

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Like many other European retailers, H&M is seeking to diversify from the crisis-hit euro zone. Early last year, it said it aimed to start "with a few stores" in India and would "expand heavily" if all went well.

Currently, H&M operates clothing 3,100 stores in 53 markets worldwide, employing over 116,000 people.

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