Jan 20, 2020
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H&M expands to Central America in deal with local partner

Jan 20, 2020

Swedish retail giant H&M is continuing its ambitious global rollout program with plans to open its first store for its biggest brand in Central America. The H&M chain will open in Panama towards the end of this year, group CEO Karl-Johan Persson has announced.


But it won’t be a directly-operated store with the company partnering with Hola Moda S.A. for the debut. Hola Moda is a privately owned company founded by Phoenix Group and Dorben Group, “which, with their extensive retail experience and market know-how, operate international fashion brands in 15 countries across the region,” we’re told.

Partnering with a local business that knows the market inside out is clearly the strategy here and that makes sense, especially given that the American market in general hasn’t always been one in which companies from Europe and Asia find success easy to come by.

There’s a long history of global retailers entering and then exiting the Americas or finding that profits take longer to come by than they expected.

It’s interesting too that the partners are focusing on sustainability as they announce the new move.

“We are honoured and thrilled by the opportunity to bring H&M to Central America,” said Mehdi Beneddine, president of Hola Moda. “This alliance is especially important for us, as it gives our team the opportunity to work together with H&M in promoting sustainability in our industry and region”.

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