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21,083 $m

H&M's brand is driving impressive growth and enabling the company's global expansion. The brand is on track to increase new store openings by 10-15 percent a year. This year, H&M plans to open 375 stores-mostly in China and the U.S. The brand is also expanding its online presence through, which currently serves parts of Europe and the U.S. H&M's promise of high quality at low prices resulted in a strong increase in profits last year. By using in-house design, efficient budgeting, and careful buying techniques, H&M is able to be both cost-efficient and credible among fashion industry leaders. Under the name H&M Studio, the brand has made successful appearances at Paris Fashion Week since 2013. Celebrities wearing its Conscious Exclusive Collection have also made their mark on the red carpet, showing a brand shift from cheap chic to truly fashionable (and respected). These tactics, in addition to leveraging Olympic interest by using Swedish Olympic athletes to help launch this year's H&M Sports division, and launching the more upscale &Other Stories in the U.S., shows a premiumization in H&M's branding. Designers like Isabel Marant and Alexander Wang have created exclusive collections to help the brand remain relevant for fashion-forward, budget-minded customers. H&M also employs celebrities including Gisele Bündchen and David Beckham in its advertising to embody different styles throughout the year. Despite aggressive expansion, H&M continues to maintain ethical industry practices and has been honored as one of the World's Most Ethical Companies of 2014 by Ethisphere. It has also recently been ranked the #1 user of certified organic cotton worldwide. Fast fashion is an effective strategy that keeps this design-driven brand relevant, and on the up.

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