H&M clocks 29% sales growth during December-August

H&MSwedish fashion retailer Hennes & Mauritz’s (H&M) sales in India grew 29% during the nine months ended August, a sharp fall from a year ago when it nearly doubled business, albeit on a lower base.H&M’s Indian business clocked sales of Rs 925 crore (SEK 1124) during December 2017- August 2018, compared to Rs 719 crore (SEK 874) a year ago, it said in its nine-month performance report on Thursday. With about 34 stores until August, each generating an average of Rs 36 crore annually in sales, H&M’s performance is still among the best within the apparel space in the retail market.
The world’s second biggest clothing chain said online and physical stores are being increasingly integrated along with the rollout of online to most markets. In mid-March this year, H&M launched its online store in India. “The group’s online sales increased by more than 30 percent in the third quarter. Today H&M online is in 47 markets and we are continuing at full speed to roll out online globally to all our existing store markets as well as to other markets,” Karl-Johan Persson, CEO at H&M said in a statement.
The brand opened its first Indian store in October 2015 competing mainly with Spanish chain Zara which entered in 2010 – both setting the benchmark in terms of growth in a market where several brands including Levi Strauss Benetton and Marks & Spencer had tepid performance for many years. Inditex Trent, which runs Zara stores in India, had sales of Rs1,221.67 crore in year ended March 2018.
The Stockholm-based brand stocks fast fashion items created in-house and teams up with designers for one-time collections. It keeps a large inventory of basic, everyday items sourced from places including India and Bangladesh that carry a lower price tag than most of its rivals
The development was first reported by  The Economic Times
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