H&M to open 400 new stores, launch beauty brand

Coming off of a strong 2014, H&M announced it would continue its expansion by adding another 400 locations in 2015. Including the 379 added last year, that will put the store count at around 4,000 nationwide.

Executives announced the results of a good year in which sales rose 14 percent—11 percent in the last quarter alone, reported the Fashionista blog. Overall, profits were around $2.4 billion. The company also added 16,000 new jobs in 2014.

The company will roll out H&M's online store in nine new markets in 2015: Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia and Switzerland.

Trying to expand its digital presence, H&M has invested heavily in its online operations since launching a U.S. shopping site just last year. In spring, the retailer announced the launch of e-commerce in France, which is the 10th market in which H&M has gone digital after Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Germany, Austria, the U.K., the Netherlands and the United States.

In addition, the company announced it would launch H&M Beauty in 900 stores, 40 markets and online this year.

"As a further step in broadening H&M's product range, in autumn 2015 we will start the launch of H&M Beauty—a new and broad concept for make-up, body care and hair care with high quality value-for-money products in a specially produced design that we have great belief in," Karl-Johan Persson, CEO, H&M said.

For more:
-See this Fashionista blog
-See this Retail Week article
-See this H&M report

Related stories:
E-commerce has positive effect on H&M's November sales
H&M gets David Beckham to go shirtless for the Super Bowl
H&M to pay textile workers living wage by 2018
H&M opens new flagship in Milan
H&M profit lags under cost of online investment

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