The founder of Swedish fashion giant Hennes & Mauritz AB, Erling Persson, died on Monday aged 85 following a short illness.

Mr Persson opened his first store near Stockholm in 1947 and over the next 55 years saw it grow into an 800 store empire that has a retail presence in 14 countries and employs more than 34,000 people.

He retired from the company in 1982. His son Stefan took up the role as chief executive until 1988 when he became chairman.