H&M to expand into regional Australia
Swedish fashion house H&M is showing no signs of slowing its Australian expansion, declaring plans to reach out to regional areas through the addition of two more stores.
The group already has nine in operation on the east coast and one in Western Australia just two years after launching with much fanfare in Melbourne.
It has recently declared an intention to open two more stores in each of Melbourne and Sydney as well as an outlet on the Gold Coast and in Newcastle.
The new offerings will be in the NSW town of Wollongong and in Queensland’s Toowoomba, with both to open prior to Christmas.
Should its plans come to fruition; the firm will have at least 18 stores in operation by the end of 2016.
In March, it was revealed H&M Australia had recorded a maiden profit of $3.8 million for the 12 months to November 30, 2015, a sharp improvement from the prior year’s $1.5m loss owing to the addition of several stores.
The retailer said at the time it had “been a bit overwhelmed” by demand, with Australia its fastest-growing market.
The expansion news places further pressure on local incumbents that have seen a host of big names, including Spain’s Zara, Britain’s Topshop and Japan’s Uniqlo, expand on Australian shores in recent years.
The announcement from H&M came on the same day the head of Target and Kmart, Guy Russo, talked up the Swedish group’s clean operating model.