H&M Follows Zara Into India

H&M will open its first store there this year.
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Dhani Mau
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H&M will open its first store there this year.
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Following a pretty gangbusters 2013, H&M is laying out plans to break into new international markets in 2014, starting with opening its first store in India, the company announced Wednesday.

“We are very excited to open our first store in India. It is one of the most exciting countries in the world right now, with so much potential,” Karl-Johan Persson, CEO of H&M, said in a statement.

The move makes sense: Not only does India have one of the fastest-growing consumer markets in the world and an expanding middle class, but fast fashion brands have already been prosperous there. Zara, whose success everyone wants to mimic, opened its first store in India in Delhi in 2010 and has since opened 12 more, reporting same-store sales growth throughout its three years there. Fellow fast fashion retailers Forever 21 and Marks & Spencer have also successfully broken into the market, and plan to expand their presence in the country.

Thus, it's a pretty safe bet for H&M, who also announced plans to enter Australia and the Philippines this year.