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Swedish fashion retailer Hennes & Mauritz’s sales in India during the six months ended May exceeded that of its entire previous financial year after selling merchandise at relatively lower prices than rival Zara. H&M recorded sales worth Rs 460 crores compared to Rs 445 crores during December 2015-November 2016, the financial year it follows, says a report. With about 16 stores each generating an average of Rs 16 lakh per day in sales, H&M’s performance is among the best within the apparel space in India.

Spanish chain Zara, which opened its first store in India in 2010, had set the benchmark as the fastest growing, and now is the biggest international apparel brand in India with sales worth Rs 1,023 crores during FY16-17. Levi Strauss and Benetton, which have been around for two decades, and Marks & Spencer, which started a decade ago, had sales of Rs 700-800 crores.

At the current rate, H&M should cross Rs 1,000 crores in current fiscal. The brand positioning is right in a price-sensitive market like India, opines Ruchi Sally, Director, Elargir Solutions, a retail consultancy. In comparison, Zara emulates the latest fashion, makes affordable versions and stocks them for a short span of time. H&M’s entry into India prompted Zara to slash prices by 10-15 per cent for some of its merchandise last year.