H&M said it intends to file for single brand entry into India shortly

H&M said it intends to file for single brand entry into India shortly

Swedish fashion retailer Hennes & Mauritz (H&M) is looking to open its first stores in India, the company confirmed today (20 February).

"Right now we are looking at the possibilities, and intend to file for a single brand entry shortly," a spokesperson for the retailer told just-style.

However, the company said it is too early to say when it will enter the country if its application is approved by the Indian government.

The Indian government last year agreed to relax rules to allow 100% foreign direct ownership in single-brand retail as part of efforts to revive economic growth. But among the number of restrictions it imposed, local sourcing of 30% or more of the merchandise on sale is seen as a deterrent by many firms.

"India is one of many interesting markets for H&M and we have started to investigate the possibilities of opening H&M stores in India," H&M said in a statement.

"Our CEO Karl-Johan Persson met with the Minister of Commerce, Anand Sharma, to discuss our future interest of opening H&M stores in India and investing in the market." 

H&M has reportedly been mulling the idea of entering India for some time. In September, reports suggested it was looking to enter the market through a franchise agreement.

The group last week recorded its fourth consecutive month of comparable store sales declines, with a drop of 4% during January as cold weather hit footfall and demand for spring merchandise.