Swedish apparel retailer H&M has signed a contract to open its first store in South America.

The first store is planned to open at the Costanera Center shopping centre, which is located in Santiago de Chile, Chile during the first half of 2013.

“It is our first step into the Southern hemisphere, and we see great potential for further expansion in this fashion conscious region. We look forward to bringing fashion and quality at the best price to the Chilean customers, says Karl-Johan Persson, CEO at H&M.

There are rumours that H&M is also scouting for sites in Australia where the company sees the market as “interesting”.