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H&M-Inditex Joining Bangladesh Pact Pressures Wal-Mart: Retail

After Hennes & Mauritz AB and Inditex SA, Europe’s two largest clothing retailers, committed to an agreement to improve fire and building safety in Bangladesh, pressure is mounting on U.S. retailers to sign the pact.

The European companies are joined by more than 1 million consumers who have signed petitions urging companies such as Gap Inc. to support the program. Some institutional investors also are beginning to express concern about the safety issue, including the Illinois State Board of Investment, which owns shares of Wal-Mart Stores Inc.