H&M Expands Into India

Swedish fast-fashion retailer H&M is eyeing India as a key pawn in its global expansion plans, according to a Reuters report.

The chain is applying to open stores in the booming BRIC nation as the Indian government promotes economic reforms and liberalizes rules regarding foreign investment. H&M plans to establish wholly-owned Indian subsidiaries.

"India represent[s] a significant opportunity for clothing chains and it makes sense for a global player like H&M to seek to expand there. There is no reason the fast-fashion, value- oriented model should not work in India," Neil Saunders, managing director at retail consultancy Conlumino, told Reuters.

Last year Indian moved to allow full foreign ownership of single-brand retail businesses. International retailers that want to invest in India above the previous 51 percent cap will need to commit to sourcing 30 percent of their goods locally. H&M chief executive Karl-Johan Persson said his firm would increase its sourcing in the country accordingly.

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