QuestionHow and when did H&M start internationalization?
AnswerH&M is a Swedish multinational clothing-retail company that is well known for its fast-fashion clothing for men, women and children. It currently operates in over 60 countries, with over 4000 stores and employs over 130,000 people. The company first started operating in 1947 when they opened their first store in Vasteras under the name Hennes (meaning hers in Swedish), which only sold women’s clothing. H&M opened its first store outside its domestic market in Norway in 1964 this was because during early internationalisation the company wanted to avoid risk of insufficient knowledge, so started with countries as near to themselves as possible. This was followed in 1968 by the acquisition of the hunting apparel retailer Mauritz Widforss, this led to the inclusion of a menswear collection being added to the shop’s product range as well as a name change to Hennes & Mauritz to coincide with the change in product. The first store to open outside of Scandinavia was in the UK in 1976, since then the company has opened stores in over 30 European nations as well moving into both the American, Asian and African markets. To combat the issue of distance when opening stores in new distant markets, the management of the nearest country handled the expansion, for example, when entering the French market the management in Belgium were tasked with handling the expansion. H&M’s expansion plan for new markets was and still is to find new attractive store locations in the best areas possible, they will only open in shopping centres within cities. Location is of highest importance to them and has in some cases meant postponing entries into certain markets until a strong enough area is available.
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