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H&M prepares USD130m drive to crack Indian market

Hennes & Mauritz plans to spend around EUR100 million (USD130m) on an initial 50 stores in India, hoping a growing population and rising incomes in Asia’s third largest economy will fuel demand for its fast-changing fashions.

Both H&M and Spain’s Inditex, which owns the popular Zara brand, have fared better than most clothing retailers in a faltering global economy, thanks to a focus on bringing catwalk styles to the mass market at a fraction of the price.

But H&M has lagged its arch-rival, in part because it does not have the same scale or presence in fast-growing emerging markets. While H&M has around 2,800 stores in 49 countries, it still makes about 80 percent of sales in Europe. Inditex, meantime, has over 6,000 stores in 86 countries and makes about 20 percent of sales in Asian economies versus 6 percent for H&M.