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Affordable fast-fashion brand H&M India is planning to be the biggest brand in India, in terms of revenue as well as the number of stores. Janne Einola, country manager at H&M India, said the company, which was second to Zara, would supersede competition by the end of 2018. “At present we are at second place, but after this year we will be the biggest player in India, in terms of revenue and stores,” he said. H&M entered India around two-and-a-half years ago and has been on an expansion spree. Owned by Swedish fashion retailer Hennes & Mauritz, it posted a two-fold increase in sales in India to Rs 9.5 billion for the financial year that ended in November 2017. The company had posted sales of Rs 4.9 billion in 2016. “We have been expanding fast and it is going according to plan.
In 2017 we opened 17 stores taking the total to 29 in 12 cities. We will continue at the same pace. In 2018 we hope to open around the same number of stores we opened last year,” he added. At present, Zara is the market leader despite operating around 21 stores in India. It operates in India through a joint venture between Zara brand-owner Inditex and the Tata Group’s retail arm Trent. The company saw revenues of Rs 10.2 billion in FY17. H&M has been able to carve out a niche in the market because of aggressive pricing, marketing, and faster opening of stores. The company has been bullish on growth in India and considers it one of the top five markets in its portfolio. The company, which runs over 4,700 stores globally, is planning to bring in more brands. It is in talks with the government to have local sourcing norms relaxed further.