Swedish retailer H&M has been sourcing home textiles from India for nearly three decades for its global clientele but is now keen to improve its sourcing of garments from the country, two-and-half-years after foraying into the Indian market, H&M Country Manager Janne Einola said.
“India is better placed as a supplier for us. Several of our SKUs in the H&M Home brand are sourced from India. We have asked our Indian suppliers to find out ways on how we may improve sourcing from India,” Einola said after it opened its 31st outlet in the country in Ahmedabad. Einola said India has been a strong supplier for home textiles, linen, lingerie, accessories and wovens.
“We are assessing how we may source garments, of course, we need to look at the country’s knowledge (in that domain),” he said. H&M has committed an investment of Rs. 720 cr in the Indian market. Einola said he wants to introduce H&M Home and cosmetics here, but is “looking at the right timing to introduce them.” Einola said unlike the Western markets, where several stores reported unsold goods, affecting margins of the company, H&M India has not had any such issues.
“The consumer behaviour in the West is changing faster than anticipated. India is demographically different — it is an emerging market and consumers are (still) learning (how) to shop. Online is not eating into our offline business here and would not cannibalise on offline sales at all,” he said, adding globally online contributes 12 per cent to H&M sales and even the strongest market for the brand, Germany, has mere 20 per cent sales coming from online business.“For our belief in the online model in India, we are investing in a warehouse in Mumbai that should be ready by 2018 end and would help us get closer to our customers,” he said.