Even though its earnings from 2017 were off, the discount clothing store chain H&M has announced plans to build nearly three hundred new stores this year.
Those stories will either be entirely new structures, or built out in existing retail centers.
The news of the chain’s continued expansion comes on the heels of comments made by H&M Chief Executive Officer Karl-Johan Persson, who remarked in a press conference that the stores’ 2017 performance had been “weak in many of our large metropolitan markets.”
Persson additionally said the decline “mirrored the shift in the market from offline to online.”
Even so, the Stockholm-based company opened 388 new stores in 2017, somewhat less than the 430 it had earlier projected. H&M now has 4,500 stores internationally and is the second largest clothing retailer in the world.
Although H&M has not yet announced where all of its new 2018 stores will be built, last month it opened its thirteenth store in Colorado. That outlet, at Denver’s Shops at Northfield Stapleton, measures 20,000 square feet.
In September the company renovated a 26,000 square foot space in Santa Fe at the Santa Fe Place shopping center.
H&M, whose stores generally vary in size between 20,000 and 25,000 square feet, has seen its presence in the U.S. grow from 189 stores in 2009 to more than five hundred today.
Besides its thirteen stores in Colorado, H&M currently has three locations in New Mexico and ten in Arizona.
The plan for the company to build the nearly 300 new stores this year comes at the same time that H&M has announced that it will close some 170 outlets in underperforming markets.
By Garry Boulard
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