September 27, 2012, 5:01 PM

H&M delays its U.S. e-commerce launch to summer 2013

It’s at least the second such delay for the apparel retailer.

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Hennes & Mauritz AB, the parent company to Swedish apparel retailer H&M, will delay the launch of an e-commerce-enabled web site in the United States until next summer. The company, in a financial report released today, says it needs more time to get ready.

It’s at least the second delay. The company had planned to launch online retailing in the United States in early 2012, then pushed it back until fall 2012. Now it appears fashion trendsetters in the United States will have to wait a bit longer to shop H&M online. H&M is known as a fast-fashion retailer, meaning it translates the latest fashion runway styles and gets them into stores quickly.

The company did not elaborate on the reasons behind the delay. H&M did say the United States and China are expected to be its largest expansion markets for fiscal 2012. Globally, it plans to increase the number of stores it operates by 10% to 15% annually. That includes expanding into Latin America.  It’ll open its first store in Mexico before the end of the year and a flagship store in Santiago, Chile, during the first half of 2013, the company says.

Meanwhile, the retailer is advancing its mobile commerce capabilities. “The online market is increasingly growing, with particularly strong growth in mobile via smartphones and tablets,” says Hennes & Mauritz CEO Karl-Johan Persson. “To accommodate this rapid development, from as early as the beginning of next year we will also offer a completely mobile-adapted H&M shop online in H&M’s existing eight online markets.” Those markets are Sweden, the United Kingdom, Austria, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Netherlands and Norway.

It is No. 67 in Internet Retailer’s Top 400 Europe Guide.

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