Swedish retailer Hennes & Mauritz AB, popularly known as H&M, has announced that it will expand in Chile, and that the first flagship store will open in 2013 in Santiago. This will mark the brand’s debut in South American continent.
A company spokesperson said that it would be a full concept store at Costanera Center shopping mall, with a grand opening scheduled for the first half of 2013. A press statement by the company said, “It is our first step into the Southern hemisphere, and we see great potential for further expansion in this fashion conscious region. We look forward to bringing fashion and quality at the best price to the Chilean customers."
Chile is regarded as the second most important retail market in the continent after Brazil. Like other retailers, to escape the slowdown in Europe, H&M has opened stores in USA and Asia. In Chile, H&M has an established competitor, Zara, which already has seven stores there.
H&M’s announcement has generated some buzz, as it comes soon after Chilean retailer Falabella declared that it has suffered losses for the first half of 2012. The company said that net profit was down by 19.1% to 165bn pesos ($344m). However, the reasons behind the loss have been marked as one-off.
However, Falabella also said that its sales were up by 15.6%. The Chilean retail market is booming, as the economy is very stable. H&M, whose apparels come at very affordable prices, have a fair chance of making a bright debut in Chile.