With already 29 stores set up across the country, H&M parent Hennes & Mauritz AB is planning to bring more brands into India apart from its affordable fast fashion brand H&M.
The Swedish company, which runs around 4,700 stores globally, owns several other brands, including H&M Home, COS, & Other Stories, Monki, Weekday Cheap Monday and ARKET. These brands have their unique identities under which they operate individual stores.
Janne Einola, Country Manager at H&M India, said, “We are in talks with the government to ease sourcing norms further for single brand retailers like us, who source locally for their global operations. Once we get that sorted, we may get our other brands to India.”
Although Einola praised the recent amendments to the FDI policy in single-brand retail, which currently exempts foreign retailers, including H&M and Ikea (companies that source locally for global operations) from meeting the 30% target for local sourcing by their Indian subsidiaries for an initial period of five years, he said, foreign retailers are looking for more flexibility in sourcing norms.
Einola said, “Although they belong to the same group, if we bring our other brands to India in the current scenario, we will have to meet local sourcing norms for each one of them. Sometimes, that may not be possible due to technical reasons. The government’s response to our proposals has been positive.”
Foreign single brand retailers, including Ikea and H&M, have been successfully lobbying with the government for tweaking of FDI norms, after lining up significant investments for India,. Their efforts met with reasonable success, when authorities allowed 100% FDI through the automatic route in the singlebrand category and liberalised local-sourcing norms.
And in December, the government also changed labelling norms to exempt singlebrand retailers — including, Ikea, Fabindia, Decathlon, H&M and several chains of Future Group — from marking maximum retail price (MRP) on their products. Swedish furniture chain Ikea had said labelling costs per store could be as high as Rs. 7-10 crore and doing away with marking MRP could make its products more affordable for consumers.