Hennes & Mauritz AB of Sweden, the world’s second-biggest retailer, has firmed up plans to enter the Philippine retail market on its own to introduce the Swedish apparel brand in the Philippines.
An industry source said the Swedish retailer was set to apply for registration shortly with the Board of Investments in preparation for the launching of retail stores in the country.
The retailer plans to invest the minimum amount of $2.5 million required of foreign investors to enter the Philippine market.
H&M representatives visited the Philippines recently to reaffirm its plans to the BoI.
“They have finally decided to come in. I believe they will apply without any local partner. There’s no saying how many stores they will put up here, but they are willing to hurdle the required minimum investment,” the source said.
H&M’s investment under the Philippine retail trade law will fall under category B because it is an enterprise fully-owned by a foreigner. The category requires an initial investment of at least $2.5 million.
Branch openings by a foreign retailer are allowed provided investments for each store under category B are no less than the peso equivalent of $830,000.
H&M is one of the top global brands ranking 23rd in the 2013 Global Brands survey of brand consultancy agency Interbrand.
The clothing company increased it market share and expects to open 275 stores in 2013, including H&M’s first outlets in South America.
H&M has teamed up with big-name designers, celebrities and high-profile supermodels to gain a following. Its brand appeals to consumers by highlighting its dedication to using organic materials.
H&M, recently named the world’s largest user of organic cotton, plans to further the advocacy by switching to 100 percent sustainable cotton by 2020.
With six different independent brands—H&M, Monki, COS, Weekday, Cheap Monday and Other Stories—H&M expects warm reception from Filipino buyers.
H&M operates 2,800 stores in 48 markets globally with total employees of 104,000.