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08th Jul 2020

H&M to close 170 stores this year due to dropping sales

The retail giant is the latest to be hit by plummeting sales amid the coronavirus pandemic.

H&M will close 170 stores this year due to dropping sales.

The Swedish fashion retailer saw a 50 percent decrease in sales in the second quarter of 2020, as thousands of stores were forced to close temporarily due to the coronavirus pandemic.

H&M Group, who also own Monki, COS, and Weekday, plan to open 130 additional stores in a bid to offset the losses.

It is not yet clear whether any of H&M’s 17 stores in Ireland will be affected.

“Our physical stores are incredibly important to us and we want to ensure that we have H&M stores in the right locations,” a spokesperson told The Mirror. 

“In the six month report, H&M Group has previously announced that on a global level, it will close around 170 of around 5000 stores around the world, across all of its 7 brands, this will be alongside 130 store openings globally. ”

H&M chief executive, Helena Helmersson, added that H&M sales were “significantly negatively affected by the Covid-19 situation, particularly in the second quarter.”

“Covid-19 continues to impact people, communities and companies around the world and I am full of admiration for our employees’ commitment, drive and perseverance during this very challenging time.

“The safety of our employees and customers remains our highest priority and we are reopening stores in line with decisions by the authorities.”

Helmersson said that the retailer will focus on online sales going forward.

“Before the pandemic hit, we performed strongly – a result of many years of long-term investments to create the best offering for our customers and to meet the digital shift in the industry,” she said.

“This, combined with the fact that we have acted quickly to counter the negative effects of Covid-19 and that we are speeding up the transformation of the H&M Group, makes me convinced that we will come out of the current crisis stronger.”

This comes just a few weeks after other major retailers including Victoria’s Secret and Zara were forced to permanently close hundreds of stores globally.

Mothercare Ireland also recently went into liquidation closing 14 stores, while Debenhams shut all 11 of their outlets across the country.