New H&M stores to open in China
Retail giant H&M is looking forward to boosting its brand awareness throughout China with the opening of majority of its new establishments this year in the country regardless of the global concern over Asia's unstable economy, The Drum reported.
The second biggest clothing brand in the world is planning to open 240 stores before the year ends with the majority to be situated in China. The clothing company has already set up 299 stores in Asia but feels no fear expanding its business in the region even though there is a slowdown in the market for Q3.
The slowdown on Chinese market seems not to affect H&M too much. The sales rose to 11% in Q3 and have predictions that it may reach to near $80 billion by the end of the year.
The brand is fast-expanding in China and now represents its fifth largest market behind Germany, US, UK, and France. H&M Asia is much more successful compared to its rivals in the Asian market due to its greater efficiency and swiftness in its production cycle.
Chief executive Karl-Johan Persson said H&M had a "positive long-term view on China, our position there is strong, as is our profitability". On the other hand, Torsten Stocker, a partner at consultancy AT Kearney in Hong Kong, touched on this saying "What they offer, none of the local brands can compete with".
Relying on China's consumers isn't the sure thing it once was. The country's employment market has shown signs of getting pulled down and economists are quickly ratcheting down expectations for the country's economic growth.
Dalian Wanda, a real-estate conglomerate announced in July that 40 of its 99 department stores will be closed including 80 karaoke dens as reported by the Business Insider.
As part of its expansion strategy H&M plans to target China's growing upper-middle class by opening shops which will sell its premium brand Cos. including a flagship store for the line in the heart of Beijing's top shopping district.