Sweden is well-known for its fashion and design exports, in large part thanks to H&M and IKEA. The H&M Group is one of the leading fashion companies worldwide. It comprises the fashion brands H&M, COS, Weekday, Cheap Monday, & Other Stories, and Monki. Additionally, it operates the H&M Home brand. The company's headquarters are located in Stockholm, Sweden.
H&M stands for Hennes & Mauritz, but it took several years until the final name evolved. The company was founded by Erling Pedersson, who opened his first fashion retail store in 1947 in Västerås, Sweden. At that time, it was called Hennes, which is the Swedish word for "hers". As the name suggests, this retail format specialized in women’s fashion. After acquiring the hunting apparel and equipment retailer Mauritz Wildforss, the company name was changed to Hennes & Mauritz and men’s fashion was included in the product range.
The number of H&M stores has fallen since 2019: there were 4,465 stores worldwide in 2022, which was 336 fewer stores than in the previous year. The three countries with the highest number of stores are the United States, Germany, and the United Kingdom. Under the umbrella of the H&M Group, the company hosts a number of other apparel and homeware brands, such as COS, & Other Stories, and Arket. The brand with the most physical stores is H&M. It is present in 78 markets, while its online business is established in almost 60 countries.
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Research expert covering apparel industry and general merchandise