Last October, I wrote about the opening of H&M in Manila after business sources reported that they have applied with the Board of Investments. With news this week saying that the first H&M store will be located in SM Megamall, presumptions were rife that the world’s second largest apparel retailer has teamed up with the SM Group which already holds the Philippine franchise to big brands like Uniqlo and Forever21. However, this is not the case as H&M is entering the Philippine market on its own and not with a local partner.
Here’s the reply of the H&M HQ in Sweden after I tried to send them some questions:
Most likely, H&M (Hennes & Mauritz AB) qualifies as a Category C investor under the Retail Trade Act of 2000 which liberalizes the entry of foreign retailers into the country. Under this category, “Enterprises with a paid-up capital of the equivalent in Philippine Pesos of Seven Million Five Hundred Thousand US Dollars (US$7,500,000.00) or more maybe wholly owned by foreigners: Provided, however, that in no case shall the investments for establishing a store in Categories B and C be less than the equivalent in Philippine Pesos of Eight Hundred Thirty Thousand US Dollars.”
The H&M Group has six different labels under its umbrella – H&M, Monki, COS, Weekday, Cheap Monday, and Other Stories. It employs approximately 100,000 people in 43 countries and had almost 3,000 stores as of end of 2012 alone.
Anyway, H&M’s entry is good news to the country in dire need of legit investments and also good news to us who love good affordable fashion. We can’t wait for H&M’s Manila opening 🙂