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H&M eyes August for U.S. online launch

H&M is finally tackling the online market, and plans to launch an e-commerce site in the U.S. in August.

The timing of the move for a brand synonymous with affordable fashion is opportune because it coincides with the heart of the back-to-school shopping season and sets the stage for the company to drive online sales during the holiday season.

The company, which runs an online site where consumers can browse through product offerings, is investing in IT, online sales and new brands in an effort to broaden its range. Come August, consumers will be able to purchase merchandise online, and the company stands to reach existing customers who prefer the convenience of online shopping, as well as potential new customers who don’t have convenient access to one of the 268 stores the company operates in 30 states.

“There is great potential in the growing online market. We are looking forward to launching our online sales in the U.S. in August. In parallel, we are continuing our work on the global rollout of H&M’s online store, with the aim of adding several new online countries during 2014,” said CEO Karl-Johan Persson. Persson did not identify other countries in the company’s plans for its online launch, but with a global portfolio of 2,900 stores in 49 countries, the company has plenty to choose from.

The announcement was made in conjunction with the company’s release of its first half-year sales for the period ended May 31, which increased by 5% compared to the same period last year. The company also indicated the second half of the year is off to a good start as well. A successful start for the company’s & Other Stories brand, as well as continued good performance by its Cos brand, have bolstered the company’s sales for the month with an increase of 14% in local currencies, compared to the same period last year.

H&M Hennes & Mauritz AB operates the H&M brand as well as Cos, Monki, Weekday, Cheap Monday, & Other Stories and H&M Home.