PARIS Hennes & Mauritz AB said it would open its first store in South America next year.

The Swedish high street retailer plans to open a flagship store in Santiago in Chile during the first half of 2013. It will be located in the Costanera Center shopping mall, which hosts brands including Zara, Topshop, Mango, Nine West, Esprit, Guess and Banana Republic.

“It is our first step into the Southern hemisphere, and we see great potential for further expansion in this fashion-conscious region,” said Karl-Johan Persson, chief executive officer of H&M.

H&M announced last week it would open its largest store in the world on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. The six-level, 57,000-square-foot site is seen opening sometime next year.

The retailer said its total number of stores amounted to 2,603 on July 31.