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H&M

H&M to open its first store in South America

Hennes & Mauritz (H&M) has taken its first step into the South American market with the announcement that a branch of the Swedish fashion giant will open in Chile next year.

H&M to open its first store in South America

“We are very excited to announce the opening of the first H&M store in South America, in Santiago de Chile, Chile,” said Karl-Johan Persson, CEO at H&M, in a statement.

“It is our first step into the Southern hemisphere, and we see great potential for further expansion in this fashion conscious region. We look forward to bringing fashion and quality at the best price to the Chilean customers.”

The store will be a “full concept flagship store”, according to the developers, and will be located at the shopping mall Costanera Center.

It will span two floors at 3,000 square metres, and is planned to open during the first half year of 2013.

“H&M has been looking at the region for a while and noticed a big interest” H&M spokesperson Kristina Stenvinkel, told the Svenksa Dagbladet (SvD) newspaper.

“We’re even going to open a big flagship store in Mexico City in November.”

This year has seen the Swedish clothing giant opening in Bulgaria with plans to open later this year in Latvia, Malaysia, Mexico and Thailand.

“We’re seeing that we can expand both in existing and new markets. H&M is now in an intensive expansion phase which means that in autumn we’ll be opening stores in four new countries. There’s still a lot left to do,” Stenvinkel told SvD.

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H&M

H&M competitor to sponsor Sweden’s Olympic team

Six months after establishing itself in Stockholm, Japanese clothing brand Uniqlo has announced it will sponsor Sweden’s athletes at the 2020 Olympics.

H&M competitor to sponsor Sweden's Olympic team
Anna Hasselborg of Sweden's curling team tries out new kit supplied for the country's athletes by Uniqlo. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

The clothing chain, one of the world’s fastest-growing retail companies, is also set to open more stores in the Scandinavian country.

“Swedes are so sophisticated and warm-hearted,” Uniqlo Europe CEO Taku Morikawa said, stressing how welcome his company has been made to feel.

Morikawa was in Sweden to present the partnership between Uniqlo and the Swedish Olympic Committee at an event at Uniqlo’s store on Hamngatan in Stockholm.

Sweden’s athletes wore teamwear supplied by H&M at the last two Olympic Games.

The Stockholm store, Uniqlo’s first in the Nordic region, opened its doors in August 2018. An expansion is now planned on the Swedish market, although Morikawa declined to reveal where.

“We definitely have plans to open more stores here,” he said.

A store will also open in Danish capital Copenhagen in the coming spring as Uniqlo’s holding company Fast Retailing continues its global expansion.

Sales figures in Sweden’s clothing retail sector have seen a downward trend in recent years, with an exception in 2015.

H&M is usually cited as one of Uniqlo’s main competitors.

The impact of a new player on an already-competitive market is difficult to predict, according to the Swedish Trade Federation (Svensk Handel).

“Locally, competition is sharpened, but competition is already fierce. I would be inclined to say that this type of partly new concept store can, instead, help to revitalise the physical retail sector for clothing,” the association’s head economist Johan Davidson said.  

READ ALSO: H&M profit down sharply despite rise in online sales

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