Swedish retail giant H&M might be cutting back in some parts of the globe, but definitely not in SA. Despite weak consumer confidence and an economy barely showing growth in the four years since it entered the market, the fashion group is about to open its 26th store in the country. More mature markets have not been so lucky. In February, H&M announced plans to close 190 of its nearly 5,000 stores worldwide. The company cited challenges in markets such as the US and Norway, where online retail is mounting a serious challenge to bricks-and-mortar shopping. "It is very much aligned with the strategy around digitalisation and becoming a lot more 'omnichannel'," Oldouz Mirzaie, H&M country manager, said about the company's global positioning this week. Omnichannel is retail-speak for selling goods in stores, online and over the phone. "In SA at this time, there are no plans to close any stores, we're expanding," she added. For a company that has the bulk of its stores north of the equat...

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