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'Our goal is to offer great value every day'

Swedish retailer H&M that has bravely come in on the single brand FDI route waiting two years for approval, could not have asked for a better opening in India. Chitra Narayanan catches up with its CEO Karl-Johan Persson-

H&M CEO Karl-Johan Persson

H&M CEO Karl-Johan Persson. (Photo: Vivan Mehra)

Q- Why did you decide to come on your own here - and not through a JV or franchisee route?

A- It's our preferred way to do business. It's hard, it's complex, but we have quite a lot of experience gained over 60 markets.

Q- You have set off a discounting war on day one with Zara and Gap announcing huge sales to counter your opening? Do you see this becoming a discounting war game?

A- It is not about one day. Our goal is to offer great value every day. We offer value on four factors - fashion, sustainability, price and quality.

Q- Zara set the pace in fast fashion. What is your turnaround time?

A- Fast fashion is a bit of a misused term. We have 150 designers working with us at H&M and a lot of design is planned with a long lead time, some others have short lead times. Some of our designers are looking at autumn of 2016 or even further. We have designers of 25 nationalities designers and they also include Indians.

Q- Would you fear online competition from local ecommerce fashion shops like Myntra?

A- Absolutely, they are competition. Right now in India, we don't have an online store. But in future, we will have an online store and customers can buy online and exchange offline, etc. Online offline integration is the main challenge.

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