Belfast Telegraph

H&M plans to launch new chain of fashion outlets

By Peter Cripps

H&M - one of the world's largest clothes retailers - intrigued the fashion world yesterday by pledging to launch a new chain.

The Swedish firm, with 2,491 stores in 44 countries, kept details about plans for the chain under wraps but said it will open in 2013 and has "great faith in this new brand".

There was speculation it could cater for wealthy or more mature shoppers because most of H&M's existing products are for the younger market.

The group reported a 13% rise in sales to £2.6bn in the three months to February 29 but said margins were squeezed as it chose not to pass on the rising cost of cotton.

H-amp;M experienced strong sales growth of 21% in the UK, where it has 215 stores, and said the UK, US and China will be its fastest growing markets this year.