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H&M

H&M profits soar as 3,000th store launched

Swedish fashion retailer Hennes and Mauritz (H&M) announced a 22 percent net increase in profits for the third quarter Thursday and predicted continued expansion in China.

H&M profits soar as 3,000th store launched

The company, which opened its 3,000th store in the southwest Chinese city of Chengdu in September, wrote in a statement that “the third quarter has been very good as regards both sales and profits”.

The net profit of 4,431 million kronor ($690 million) – which the retail group put down to strong sales “particularly in Asia but also in a number of European markets” – surpassed the expectations of many analysts.

The retail group added in a statement that following a successful online store launch in the United States in August it planned to continue its global expansion.

“China is the country where our expansion is strongest but we are also expanding in other exciting regions… In October this year we will open in another country in southeast Asia – in Indonesia via franchise – and in the first half of 2014 we will open our first store in Melbourne, Australia. In 2015 we plan to open in South Africa.”

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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