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

Hennes & Mauritz AB, 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.

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