After at least a number of delays, discount Swedish retailer Hennes & Mauritz says it will launch its long-anticipated U.S. retail website next month.
While Americans haven’t been able to shop at H&M online, many have been able to visit its stores. The company operates more than 300 retail outlets across the U.S. Still, the website will allow the retailer to reach consumers in 18 states that don’t have H&M stores, Bloomberg notes.
H&M’s existing U.S. website, which doesn’t permit purchases, already generates 20% of the company’s web traffic, suggesting that the launch of e-commerce operations in the American market could quickly boost sales. It’s U.S. brick-and-mortar operations posted $1.9 billion in sales last year, making the U.S. the company’s second biggest market.
By delaying the launch of U.S. online sales for so long, the H&M has allowed rivals to make substantial headway among American online shoppers. Urban Outfitters (URBN), a domestic retailer, now derives a quarter of sales from catalog and online shopping. It hopes to increase online sales to 50% of revenue within four years.
H&M announced plans to launch its U.S. online store in June, after posting disappointing quarterly earnings.