H&M closes 250 stores

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H&M shuts 250 stores due to the coronavirus pandemic, as customers gradually buy online.

The fast-fashion chain has 5,000 stores worldwide, so Thursday’s announcement accounts for 5 percent of its overall store size.
“More and more consumers started shopping online during the pandemic,” H&M said in a statement Thursday, following temporary store closures, which at its height amounted to around 80 per cent of its store count.

The Swedish retailer said that its third quarter, which covers revenue from June to August, recovered as time went by due to the re-opening of stores and “quick and profitable” growth in online shopping. However, September ‘s revenue decreased by 5 percent compared to the same month a year earlier.

“While the problems are far from over, we agree that the worst is behind us and we are well positioned to emerge stronger from the crisis,” said Helena Helmersson, CEO.
The coronavirus intensified the trend towards online shopping, which had already disrupted the retail industry and destroyed major chains before the pandemic struck. H&M competitor Inditex, which owns Zara and other fast-fashion brands, said earlier this year that it plans to shutter as many as 1,200 stores this year and next.

H&M (HNNMY) and Inditex are not the only retailers to feel the pinch. American Eagle Outfitter (AEO) and GameStop (GME) have also recently announced plans to close hundreds of stores due to the increase of online shopping. – Adapted from CNN

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