MEXICO CITY — H&M continues its rapid expansion in Mexico, with plans to roll out 10 stores this year and more by 2019.
“We will open 10 stores this year in Mexico where we are growing at a much faster pace than our global average because it’s a very fast-growing market,” said communications director Bea de la Borbolla.
Normally, the Swedish apparel chain expands sales-floor capacity by 10 to 15 percent annually but will accelerate that pace in Mexico, where it hopes to operate 26 stores by year-end.
Market sources said the firm is eyeing 10 openings a year in the medium- to long-term in Latin America’s largest economy. Roughly 30 such stores could be located in sprawling Mexico City, where European and U.S. archrivals such as Inditex, Mango, C&A, Tommy Hilfiger and Forever 21 are also growing aggressively.
De la Borbolla said those targets look optimistic, adding it’s too early to provide guidance for 2017 and beyond.
Mexico country manager John Lackner will lead the expansion after taking over the helm from Daniel Lattemann, who will take a similar post in Australia.
H&M grew 150 percent last year in Mexico compared to 15 percent globally, Lattemann told local press. In 2014, sales reached 6.8 billion pesos, or $393 million at current exchange. Lattemann said H&M was considering manufacturing apparel in Mexico, a plan sources said is gaining traction, with the firm eyeing footwear, jerseys and woven suppliers.
H&M, which opened seven shops last year, will open its next outlet in Via Vallejo Mall in Mexico State on April 30. Next in line is a unit in Plaza Mayor in the industrial city of Leon, central Mexico, in mid-June.
Six of this year’s openings will take place in the Mexico City megalopolis, home to over 20 million people, said de la Borbolla, adding to four stores currently.
Stores will measure about 25,000 to 28,000 square feet, in the mid-range between the smallest existing store at about 19,000 square feet in Mazatlan, Mexico and its maiden Santa Fe, Mexico City flagship measuring about 35,000 square feet, which was opened in fall 2012.