Although sales are almost back at 2019 levels, H&M plans to downsize its store network by 250 units this year. The fashion chain announced this alongside its half-year results.
In the second quarter (which ended on 31 May), H&M's sales rose by 75 per cent to 46.5 billion Swedish kronor (4.6 billion euros). Nevertheless, 140 stores were still closed at the end of that period due to Covid. Online sales increased by 40 per cent in the local currency. Net profit amounted to 2.7 billion Swedish kronor (270 million euros). Last year, when the crisis reached its peak, H&M had to face a loss of the equivalent of close to 500 million euros.
Meanwhile, sales seem to be recovering further: in the first 28 days of June, revenue increased by about a quarter. "We are almost back to the level we were at before the pandemic", said CEO Helena Helmersson. At the moment, however, around 90 stores are still temporarily closed.
For the full year 2021, H&M plans to close about 350 stores, reports Retail Gazette. However, a little over a hundred new stores will be added in other locations, which means a net reduction of approximately 250 stores.