Swedish message: An H&M store in Barcelona, Spain. The group has posted rising sales in SA Picture: REUTERS
Swedish message: An H&M store in Barcelona, Spain. The group has posted rising sales in SA Picture: REUTERS

Swedish retailer H&M plans to open another six stores in SA before the end of 2017 as it extends its reach in the country.

The news follows on the group’s interim results, which showed a 32% rise in sales in rand terms in SA. The rise came at the expense of local retailers such as Mr Price and Edcon.

"We see a lot of potential in SA," said H&M South African country manager Pär Darj.

Three stores will be opened in Cape Town from September to November. The remaining three will open in Witbank, Richards Bay and Durban during the course of the year.

The Canal Walk store in Cape Town – to be opened on November 18 – will cover more than 4,600m² on two levels.

"We are extremely excited to be opening yet another flagship in the western part of the country," said Darj.

H&M’s expansion comes at a time when local and international fashion brands are finding it harder to eke out sales gains as consumers come under increased pressure.

International fashion brands Mango and Nine West, which were brought to SA by House of Busby, closed their stand-alone stores in March. British retailer River Island, which has a presence in Rosebank Mall, Sandton City and Mall of Africa in Gauteng, Canal Walk in Cape Town and elsewhere has exited the country in the past month.

Analysts have warned it is going to become even tougher for clothing retailers. Since the beginning of 2017, retailers of textiles, clothing, footwear and leather goods have experienced sharp declines.

The Statistics SA retail trade sales report for April showed this segment of goods recorded a 4.7% drop after a 5.1% decrease in March.

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