H&M will open online stores in five Asian markets this year.
The H&M Asia online stores will open in Hong Kong, Singapore, Macau, Taiwan and Malaysia. A sixth will open in Turkey.
And, as previously reported by Inside Retail Asia, H&M will open its first store in Vietnam later this year at a site yet to be revealed. Some 430 new stores will open worldwide, including the first in Kazakhstan, Colombia, Iceland and Georgia.
CEO Karl-Johan Persson confirmed the openings while announcing a 7 per cent increase in global sales for its financial year to November 30.
Last year, H&M opened online stores in 11 markets, along with a new 427 new brick-and-mortar stores worldwide.
“This means that H&M is now present in 64 markets of which 35 offer eCommerce. We welcomed more than 13,000 new colleagues which means there are now more than 161,000 colleagues in the group,” he said.
And this year, the company – which also operates the Cos, Monki, Weekday and Cheap Monday retail brands – will also reveal one or two more brands.
“In 2017 we are looking forward to delivering strong collections and customer experiences and launching one or two new brands. This, combined with the ongoing improvements and our investments in the omnichannel offering, the supply chain and advanced analytics make us positive towards our opportunities for reaching our newly rephrased growth target, both in 2017 and going forward,” Persson said.
Most new stores will carry the H&M banner, but 70 to 80 will be for other brands, including its H&M Home offer.
Global sales reached SEK 222,865 million (US$25.52 billion) in the financial year, however profits were eroded by a higher number of price markdowns and the higher US dollar which impacted on stock purchasing costs, falling from SEK 20,898 million ($2.39 billion) to 18,636 million ($2.13 billion).