H&M Group expands to Central America in deal with local partner.

Swedish retail giant H&M is continuing its ambitious global rollout program with plans to open its first store for its biggest brand in Central America. The H&M chain will open in Panama towards the end of this year, group CEO Karl-Johan Persson has announced.

“Central America holds great potential and we are looking forward to opening our first H&M store in Panama at the end of 2020”, says Karl-Johan Persson, CEO H & M Hennes & Mauritz AB.

But it won’t be a directly-operated store with the company partnering with Hola Moda S.A. for the debut.Hola Moda S.A. is a privately owned company founded by Phoenix Group and Dorben Group, which with their extensive retail experience and market knowhow operate international fashion brands in 15 countries across the region.

“We are honoured and thrilled by the opportunity to bring H&M to Central America, providing the communities we serve with unmatched fashion and quality at the best price. This alliance is especially important for us, as it gives our team the opportunity to work together with H&M in promoting sustainability in our industry and region”, says Mehdi Beneddine, president of Hola Moda.

Partnering with a local business that knows the market inside out is clearly the strategy here and that makes sense, especially given that the American market in general hasn’t always been one in which companies from Europe and Asia find success easy to come by.

There’s a long history of global retailers entering and then exiting the Americas or finding that profits take longer to come by than they expected.

It’s interesting too that the partners are focusing on sustainability as they announce the new move.

H & M Hennes & Mauritz AB (publ) was founded in Sweden in 1947 and is quoted on Nasdaq Stockholm. H&M’s business idea is to offer fashion and quality at the best price in a sustainable way. In addition to H&M, the group includes the brands COS, Monki, Weekday, Cheap Monday, & Other Stories, H&M HOME and ARKET as well as Afound. The H&M group has 47 online markets and more than 4,900 stores in 72 markets including franchise markets. In 2018, net sales were SEK 210 billion. The number of employees amounts to more than 177,000. For further information, visit hmgroup.com.



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