According to The WSJ, despite the global financial meltdown, H&M plans to open 225 new stores this year. As of February, it had over 1,748 outlets.
Spokesman Nils Vinge said, "We certainly have the resources and capacity to have 225 net openings, opening more [stores] than we are closing." Last year, the company opened 234 stores but closed 18.
H&M is trying to expand its global footprint to offset weakening sales in Europe and the U.S. The company will also open H&M outlets in key markets such as the Middle East and Japan. In 2010, the company will open its first store in South Korea.
H&M's first Beijing location will opened yesterday, [April 23] to coincide with the launch of its latest designer collaboration with designer Matthew Williamson, a marketing move to ramp up maximum publicity.