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H&M third gen announces first Indian store

H&M third-gen Karl-Johan Persson has announced the fast-fashion retailer will open its first store in India this year, following approval from the Indian government granted in late 2013.

In December, the Foreign Investment Promotion Board approved a 7.2 billion rupee (€85 million) investment proposal from the Swedish chain to create a wholly-owned subsidiary in the country.

In a statement, chief executive Karl-Johan Persson, the grandson of H&M founder Erling Persson, said: “We are very excited to open our first store in India. It is one of the most exciting countries in the world right now, with so much potential.”

The chain, which last year saw sales of SEK 128,562 million (€14.7 billion), will also be opening its first stores in the Philippines and Australia this year.

H&M opened its first stores in Asia in Hong Kong and Shanghai in 2007, followed by Japan in 2008 and South Korea in 2010.

In October it opened its first store, via franchise, in Indonesia.

Fellow Swedish family empire Ikea was one of the first major foreign retailers granted approval by the Indian government for investment and said it planned to open 25 stores over the next 15 to 20 years.

In 2012, India changed its policies to allow foreign retailers own 100% of their Indian subsidiaries.

H&M has over 3,100 stores in 53 markets worldwide, and employs over 116,000 people.

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