H&M exists in 53 countries and as of 2013 employed around 116,000 people. The first store was opened on the high street of Västerås, Sweden in 1947. It had 2,325 stores at the end of 2011 and 2,629 stores at the end of August 2012. It is ranked the second largest global clothing retailer, just behind Spain-based Inditex (parent company of ZARA), and leads over third largest global clothing retailer, United States based GAP Inc.
The design team in the company’s Sweden office controls the steps of production, from merchandise planning to establishing specifications, and production is outsourced to approximately 800 factories in Europe and Asia. These facilities are used for horizontal division of labour, rather than being integrated.
The company's founder Erling Persson traveled in 1946 in the United States and came up with the business idea back to offer fashionable clothing at great prices. In 1947 he opened his first shop Västerås, Sweden "Hennes", in which he exclusively sold women's clothing. "Hennes" is Swedish and means "for her" and/or "hers". 1968 hunting clothing retailer Mauritz Widforss was taken over, which led to the inclusion of a menswear collection in the offer and the name change to "Hennes & Mauritz" (H & M) . In 1998, the company succeeded her initials "HM" to buy as an Internet domain HM.com.
The company opened its first store in Singapore on 3 September 2011. The store, located on Grange Road, is 28,000 square meters and spans four levels. A second store, with 20,000 square feet and spanning two levels, was opened at ION Orchard on 28 November 2012.
A third store occupying 19,000 square feet of retail area opened at JEM on 11 June 2013. A fourth and fifth store opened shortly after on 20 June 2013 and 21 June 2013 at VivoCity Mall and Suntec City Mall respectively. The two new stores occupy 20,000 square feet and 15,000 square feet respectively, both spanning across one level. This brings the total number of stores in Singapore to five, with its first flagship store remaining the largest.
Their stores do include:
- ION Orchard
- Kallang Wave
- One Raffles Place
- Orchard Building
- Suntec City
- Tampines Mall
- Waterway Point
H&M first opened one store at Daniel Hub on 10 September 2011.
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