Fashion retailer Hennes & Mauritz’s crossed Rs 1000 crore worth of yearly sales mark in India, three years after entering the country. However, growth at 29 percent was significantly slower than the previous years when it doubled its business each year.
For the year to end in November, sales rose up to Rs 1109 crore from Rs 860 crore a year ago, the world’s second-largest clothing firm said in a statement issued on Thursday. Within the year 2018, the retailer expanded stores aggressively as it opened 12 doors last year and kept prices lower than their rivals. H&M, which keeps a December-November financial year, entered India in October 2015. It has since opened stores at an average of a store every month, taking the tally to 39 now. Earlier, the company had reportedly said that it would open 50 stores in India with an investment of Rs 700 crore by the year 2020.
Karl-Johan Persson, global CEO at H&M said in a statement that, “Against a backdrop of rapid changes in the fashion industry, in 2018 we accelerated our plans and executed them to future proof our business, closing a challenging year for the fashion industry with strong signals that we are consistent and on track,”
The clothing brand, that runs approximately 5000 stores across the world, reported a 5% increase in the global yearly sales. In India, its sales rose 43 percent to Rs 306 crore during the quarter ended November, Two times as compared to the period a year ago when it grew 20 percent.
The retailer only entered the online market in India last year. In its three years of operations in the country, H&M has surpassed several brands in terms of sales, including Levi Strauss and Benetton, which have been in the country for about 20 years now, and Marks & Spencer, which started a little over 10 years ago. However, Spanish chain Zara, which opened its first store in India in 2010, is still the leading international apparel brand in the country with sales of whopping Rs 1221 crore during 2017-18.
The brand, based out of Stockholm, Sweden, only stocks fast fashion items created in-house and team up with designers for one-time collections. It stores a large inventory of basic, everyday clothing and accessories sourced from places including India and Bangladesh that carry a lower price tag than most of its rivals. This is in complete contrast with the Zara model, which is based on imitating the latest fashion, making affordable versions and stocking them for just a few days.