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H&M to Enter Home Textiles Category

Apparel retailer H&M — Hennes & Mauritz — said last week that it will begin selling home textiles this fall online and in catalogs throughout the Netherlands and Nordic countries, as well as online in Germany and Austria.

H&M Home will include bed, bath, and window coverings, including comforters, sheets, towels and accessories, spokeswoman Jenni Tatter told Home Textiles Today in a telephone interview.

"There are no concrete plans for stores at the moment," she said. "We will start to sell in catalogs and on the Internet, then evaluate the project continuously."

Tatter said it was also too soon to determine if the effort will find its way to the United States, but indicated that the company expects "substantial expansion" following the debut.

"We see a big demand for [home textiles] among our customers lately," Tatter said. "There is a growing interest."

She indicated that housing markets in the debut countries are currently healthy.

At the same time, H&M announced the creation of a new high-end apparel chain, Collections of Style, or COS, to debut in London this spring, with a rollout planned to selected markets in the United States and Europe.

H&M's fourth quarter closed on Nov. 30; the company recorded results yielding an 18% gain in profits. The company reported net profits of kr3.8 billion (kronor) or $544 million, on sales of kr19.5 billion or $2.8 billion, an 8% gain.

For the fiscal year, H&M's profits increased 17% to kr10.8 billion or $1.55 billion, on sales of kr68.4 billion or $9.8 billion, a 12% gain over the prior year. The company operates 1,345 stores in 45 countries, and will open about 170 units in the current year.

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