Despite the coronavirus crisis, H&M recorded an increase in sales in the first quarter of the current fiscal year. In the second quarter, however, the fashion retailer expects to be heavily impacted by the spread of the virus throughout Europe.
Decline in China
In the first quarter of its postponed financial year (December to February), H&M's sales increased by 8 % to 54.9 billion Swedish kroner (5 billion euros). At constant exchange rates, sales increased by 5 %.
However, sales development have become severely affected by the coronavirus crisis. First, this was mainly the case in China: while sales in the first half of the quarter jumped by 27 % (in local currency), demand then dropped considerably. Group sales in China fell by 24 % for the quarter as a whole - at the height of the crisis, 334 of the 518 Chinese stores were closed.
Today, while sales in China are beginning to recover, the subsequent spread of the virus in Europe has had a serious impact on H&M's sales in the first two weeks of March. In several European Union countries, stores are temporarily closed, while in other countries they are only open on weekdays.