Economy & Politics

H&M wants to further reduce the branch network

H&M plans to close around 250 branches in the coming year. Photo: dpa / Jens Kalaene

In the coming year, the Swedish fashion retailer H&M wants to reduce the number of its stores by around 250. One reason is the closure of many branches during the Corona crisis.

Stockholm – The Swedish fashion retailer Hennes & Mauritz (H&M), hit by the Corona crisis, wants to thin out its branch network. In the coming year, the bottom line is that the number of stores will shrink by around 250, as the company announced on Thursday when it presented its final figures for the third fiscal quarter that ended in August.

The Group’s recovery from the crisis continues. As already known, the retailer managed to return to the black in the summer quarter after H&M posted losses in the second quarter, which was particularly hard hit by the pandemic.

Profit has halved

“Although the challenges are far from over for us, the worst should be behind us,” said CEO Helena Helmersson. Business is recovering faster than expected. “We have seen strong and profitable growth in online business, and more and more stores have now reopened.”

Currently, 166 of the total of around 5000 H&M branches are still closed, it said. At the end of the quarter, more than 200 stores had not yet resumed operations. However, the pandemic also had a heavy impact on the third quarter. As already known, the group had turned over around 50.9 billion Swedish kronor (around 4.83 billion euros) in the reporting period; calculated in the respective national currencies, that was a decline of 16 percent. After taxes, the profit has more than halved to 1.82 billion crowns. For September, H&M reported a decline in revenues of 5 percent.

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