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H&M

H&M mulls production in South America and Africa

Swedish fashion giant H&M is considering starting production in South America and Africa, chief executive Karl-Johan Persson told the Financial Times in an interview published on Monday.

H&M mulls production in South America and Africa

“When that part of the world is growing, which it is, it becomes even more interesting to look at production in South America or Central America. So, we are exploring that opportunity … We’re looking at (Africa) as well,” he said.

He added that the company is particularly looking into countries such as Mexico and Brazil.

His comments come almost one month after the collapse of a nine-storey garment factory complex in a suburb of Dhaka caved in and buried thousands of workers, killing over 1,200 people.

Persson, who last week called for a higher minimum wage in Bangladesh, had no suppliers in the building.

H&M announced on May 13th that it would sign an agreement drafted by global unions to improve safety in the Bangladeshi textile factories it uses.

The Swedish company plans to open its first store in Chile in 2013. Persson added that the company’s online launch in the US is scheduled for August this year.

AFP/The Local/og

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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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