Two of fast fashion’s biggest players are plotting their geographic expansion to new markets.

This story first appeared in the August 30, 2013 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Hennes & Mauritz said Thursday that it has signed a contract to open its first flagship in South Africa in 2015 at the earliest. H&M chief executive officer Karl-Johan Persson said the brand sees “great potential for further expansion in this region.”

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Meanwhile, Fast Retailing Co. Ltd.’s Uniqlo said Thursday it plans to open a 29,000-square-foot flagship in Berlin’s Tauentzienstrasse shopping district next spring. The store will mark the brand’s entry to the German market and give it a presence in a fourth European country after the U.K., France and Russia.

“Uniqlo is a giant globally, but we are still a challenger brand in Europe. We have been focusing our presence in Paris, London and Moscow, and we are enjoying attractive growth rates despite a commercially demanding environment,” said Berndt Hauptkorn, Fast Retailing’s group officer and Uniqlo Europe ceo. “The opening of our Berlin store marks a step-change for us. The German-speaking market will offer great opportunities for Uniqlo, as well as other major markets and cities we are considering across Europe, including Barcelona and Milan.”