Move over, Gap (NYSE:GPS). Swedish clothing chain Hennes & Mauritz (Pink Sheets: HNNMY.PK) is the world's biggest apparel retailer now.

According to Swedish business daily Affarsvarlden, there are now 1,569 stores under the H&M name worldwide, passing former world leader Gap. The Yankees still command greater sales, with $15.4 billion in trailing revenue versus the Swedes' $13.8 billion. And if you add in auxiliaries like Old Navy and Banana Republic, the Gap comes out on top again in terms of store count. But H&M is coming on strong, no matter how you slice it.

While Gap closed 55 stores last quarter, H&M is growing. The company expects to grow its store network by 10% a year for the foreseeable future, and that includes moving into exciting new markets like China and Russia, where the Swedes have been scarce so far.

While the 13% sales growth the company experienced over the last 12 months might not quite put H&M in the same hypergrowth league as Guess? (NYSE:GES) or Urban Outfitters (NASDAQ:URBN), it's way better than the stalled growth we see at American Eagle (NYSE:AEO) and Abercrombie & Fitch (NYSE:ANF) -- not to mention Gap's shrinkage. And don't forget that H&M commands a $41 billion market cap back in Stockholm, three times the size of Gap, and more than seven times as big as Urban Outfitters.

The Pink Sheets stigma keeps H&M out of the limelight, despite its massive bulk and growth prospects. But the Swedish stock market requires high-quality financial reports, and the big guys publish them in English as well. If you were thinking about investing in Guess? or Aeropostale (NYSE:ARO) someday soon, you might want to add this discreet Nordic giant to your research list. That's what I did when fellow Fool Bill Mann showed me the beauty of Swedish fashions back in 2005, and my shares have gained 36% in value, while the S&P 500 has barely moved.

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Gap is a Motley Fool Inside Value recommendation. Gap and American Eagle Outfitters are Motley Fool Stock Advisor picks. The Fool owns shares of American Eagle Outfitters. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days.

Fool contributor Anders Bylund owns shares in Hennes & Mauritz, but holds no other position in any of the companies discussed here. You can check out Anders' holdingsif you like, and Foolish disclosurewatches Project Runway religiously.