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H&M Plans to Open 225 Stores in 2009

Hennes & Mauritz AB, also known as the popular and trendy H&M, the world’s third-largest fashion chain by revenue, says it is on track to open 225 new stores this year, despite the global slowdown. In addition, the company has added to its outlets at a pace of between 10% and 15% a year. Last year, the company opened 234 stores but closed 18. As of February, H&M had over 1,748 outlets.

Like others in the industry, the chain has been hit by the global economic crisis, reporting a 12% drop in fiscal first-quarter net profit, to 2.58 billion Swedish kronor ($319.3 million), from the same period a year earlier.

U.S.-based Gap Inc. and Spain’s Inditex SA, which owns the Zara chain, are the world’s two largest apparel retailers by revenue.