New Delhi: Swedish fashion retailer Hennes & Mauritz (H&M) will roll-out its online marketplace in India by next year, after witnessing huge demand from the country leading to nearly three times jump in sales this year.

The company, which had 17 stores at the end of 31 August, clocked sales of about Rs703 crore during the December 2016 and August 2017, up from Rs291 crore in the year-ago period, as per the company’s nine-month report for the period from December 2016 and August 2017.

“Next year, we plan to continue our online expansion into further countries, including India. The plan is that in the future we will offer online shopping in all store markets as well as in other markets," H&M chief executive officer (CEO) Karl-Johan Persson said.

The company currently has online store in 41 countries and would add Cyprus and the Philippines, later this autumn. The group had a total of 4,135 H&M stores as of 31 August, 2017, of which 176 are operated by franchise partners.

The company had received FIPB approval in November 2013 for opening 50 stores. It had said the investment would be about Rs720 crore.

In the nine-month period, the group opened 264 own stores worldwide and closed 53 stores, a net increase of 211 new stores. The company, which has seen growing number of footfalls over two years is now betting big on the e-commerce space as part of its expansion plans.

“We are continuing to improve the online store and are adding more and faster delivery options, while at the same time further broadening the range of products online," Persson said.

On the outlook, the company said the group’s online sales are estimated to grow by at least 25% per year going forward.

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