H&M stores fail to grow in fourth quarter

H&M stores fail to grow in fourth quarter

Swedish fashion group Hennes & Mauritz have failed to grow on a comparable basis during the last quarter of its financial year 2012 (September through November). The nine percent turnover growth was completely due to the opening of 304 new stores. The group now hopes its focus on mobile commerce will result in a more significant growth in the next few years.

Growth through store openings and mobile commerce

The group's' quarterly turnover went up to 37.93 billion Swedish crowns (4.3 billion euro), largely as a result of new stores opening in the Far East and North America. November's turnover growth was even slower at plus seven percent, but minus one percent in comparable units.

 

The company blames the “difficult market conditions”, but specialists point to the disappointing results of H&M's Maison Martin Margiela-collection, which might have been too eccentric for most H&M's customers. Contrary to earlier Limited Editions, like Versace's or Jimmy Choo's, the MMM-collection has not been sold out completely – especially in the US.

 

Last September, CEO Karl-Johan Persson pointed out that “The online market is increasingly growing, with particularly strong growth in mobile shopping via smartphones and tablets”. He announced that “as early as the beginning of next year we will also offer a completely mobile adapted H&M shop online in H&M's existing eight online markets". The Swedish chain hopes this new focus will enhance next year's financial results.

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