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H&m for all

June 10, 2007

Swedish cheap-chic retailer H&M (Hennes & Mauritz) plans to open 500 to 1,000 U.S. stores in the U.S., according to www.just-style.com.

Other fast-fashion retailers Zara (19 U.S. stores) and Mango (20 U.S. stores by the end of 2007) from Spain and Britain’s Topshop (3 U.S. stores by next spring) have also sensed fertile ground in the states.

Could such a huge expansion be a lofty strategy? Currently there are only 91 stores.

Also, it is hard not to be reminded of stores like Urban Outfitters, a Philadelphia-based retailer that experienced backlash from its original followers because of suburban growth.

Margins may be up, but that’s not a signifier of long-term success in an industry this fickle. Mall stores often replicate, rather than create what’s going on in fashion. 

Furthermore, euro fashion is in direct competition with homegrown retailers like Chico’s and the Gap. How much will American consumers want? Could the entire euro craze have a product life cycle not unlike the clothing itself?

Posted by katie facada

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