H&M to step up expansion with its first store in South America

Kasmira Jefford
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SWEDISH clothing giant H&M said yesterday it will make its first foray into South America by opening a store in Chile, as it continues its rapid expansion into new markets.

The world’s second largest clothing chain plans to open a flagship store in the first half of 2013 in the shopping centre Costanera Centre in Santiago de Chile.

“It is our first step into the southern hemisphere, and we see great potential for further expansion in this fashion conscious region,” chief executive Karl-Johan Persson, said.

In January, the company pledged to continue its aggressive expansion into new markets, with plans to open 275 stores, with most of these in markets where it is already present.

It is also launching in five new countries including Bulgaria, Mexico, Latvia, Malaysia and Thailand.

H&M, which has about 2,600 shops in 44 countries, posted an 11 per cent rise in total sales in July, as it continued to enjoy robust demand for cheap fashion from cash-strapped shoppers.