Swedish apparel retailer H&M has announced plans to vigorously expand in the Chinese market during 2009 by opening five new specialty stores in Beijing, Shanghai, and Hong Kong.
Beijing will be H&M's development focus this year. The retailer's first flagship store in Beijing will open on April 23 on Qianmen Street and its second store in the capital will be opened one week later in the Xidan commercial area. According to its plan, H&M will open two new specialty stores in Shanghai and one flagship store in Hong Kong. The company has said it plans to open 225 new specialty stores worldwide in 2009.
H&M entered the Chinese market in 2007 and opened its first specialty store in Hong Kong. After that, it opened more stores in Chinese cities and provinces such as Shanghai, Jiangsu, and Shenzhen. By the end of 2008, the company had opened 13 specialty stores in China.
Founded in 1947, H&M has become one of the largest apparel retailers in Europe with about 1,700 specialty stores around the world. By its financial report for the latest fiscal year as of November 30, 2008, H&M realized net profits of about USD1.8 billion, a year-on-year increase of 13%.