Serbian Delta Agrees With H&M for First Store in Belgrade

Hennes & Mauritz AB (HMB), Europe’s second-largest clothing retailer, will open its first store in Serbia at a Belgrade shopping mall owned by Serbia’s richest man, Miroslav Miskovic.

The Swedish retailer “will change the retail trade structure in Serbia and position Belgrade as a primary shopping destination” in the region, Miskovic’s Delta Holding said in an e-mailed statement today.

The store, due to open in the fall, is part of H&M’s expansion plans this year, which also include Chile, Estonia, Lithuania and a franchise in Indonesia, the Stockholm-based company said in a statement. The retailer said yesterday it’s diversifying with a sixth brand, “& Other Stories,” with both stores and online sales, after falling behind larger competitor Inditex SA in the global race to attract price-sensitive fashionistas.

“We see a potential for expansion within the country, but now we are focusing on our first opening,” H&M spokeswoman Camilla Emilsson-Falk said in e-mailed comments to Bloomberg News, without disclosing cost on investments.

Serbian retail trade has been declining since June, with October and November activity falling 10.5 percent and 10.6 percent respectively.

To contact the reporter on this story: Gordana Filipovic in Belgrade at gfilipovic@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James M. Gomez at jagomez@bloomberg.net

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