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H&M makes Japanese debut

Swedish fashion giant H&M will open its first store in Japan this weekend, as it battles the global economic slowdown with its overseas expansion strategy.

Its debut outlet in Japan, in Tokyo’s Ginza shopping district, will be followed by a second store in the Harajuku district at the start of November. A third store in Tokyo’s Shibuya area is expected to open next autumn.

The young fashion retailer is also set to launch its latest high-profile collaboration with Japanese designer Rei Kawakubo, the founder of designer fashion brand Comme des Garçons, with the opening of the second store in the market in November.

H&M now boasts more than 1,600 stores in 30 countries, including China, where it launched last year. It plans to increase its total number of stores by up to 15% over the next 12 months, focusing on expanding in the US and in European markets as well as its launch in Japan.

Separately, Japanese clothing giant Fast Retailing Co, which owns Uniqlo, said it planned to launch the value chain in Russia and India. The company said it aimed to triple its overseas sales to more than 4,100 billion yen (£527.6m) within two years.

To help it achieve the sales rise it will double its number of outlets outside its domestic market. Uniqlo has 13 UK stores.

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