H&M CEO Karl-Johan Persson says retailer will open COS-like chain in 2013

Fashion lovers, listen up and get ready to spend.

Earlier this week, speculation over what exactly is brewing at the Hennes & Mauritz headquarters intensified after reports broke that the retailer is working on a luxury brand.

(AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

On Thursday, H&M's CEO Karl-Johan Persson announced that the company plans to open a number of freestanding shops in early 2013. Without confirming whether these shops will target the luxury market, he stated, “The new chain of stores will be independent and complement the other offerings from the groups."

The new brand is rumored to be set at a higher price point than the company's COS line. It is also believed to involve former Whyred designer Behnaz Aram, who joined H&M's business design team in August. Despite a dampened quarterly earnings report set by rising material costs and further-reduced markdowns, the retailer still made note of its aggressive expansion plan. Persson added, "We are making these long-term investments in order to build an even stronger H&M, so that we can give our customers an even broader offering."

Persson added, "We have great faith in this new brand and we see considerable potential for further initiatives." Considering H&M's recent collaborations with some of fashion's top luxury designer brands like Marni and Versace, it would be interesting to see the retailer create a sole division dedicated to luxury.