H&M is expanding in a risky market

Fast fashion behemoth H&M is expanding swiftly and rapidly into China, according to The Wall Street Journal.
H&M will reportedly open up 240 stores across the board (primarily in China and the United States) in the fourth quarter — potentially three a day.

“We have a positive long-term view on China, our position there is strong, as is our profitability. As far as the overall Chinese market goes in the third quarter we have heard that there has been a slight slowdown from very a strong sales pace increase to somewhat calmer levels,” CEO Karl-Johan Persson said to the newspaper.

It’s a good place to be for H&M; the retail giant’s sales increased by 11% in China in the third quarter. The company already has 299 stores in the nation, as of the end of August. This is largely attributable the fact that stores in China have yet to master fast fashion, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Still, betting on China’s consumers isn’t the sure thing it once was. The country’s employment market has shown strains and economists are quickly ratcheting down expectations for economic growth. In July, Dalian Wanda, a real-estate conglomerate, announced that it would close 40 department stores in the country — that’s almost half of the 99 it owns. It also announced that it would close 80 karaoke dens.

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