H&M to close 240 stores and open 95 new ones in "growth markets"
Fashion retailer H&M has announced it will close 240 stores in "established markets" and open 95 new stores in "growth markets" following slowing sales in its first quarter.
According to its latest financial results, net sales increased by 6% compared to the same period last year, a reduction from the 23% growth it recorded in the previous three months.
The businesses' sales were impacted by the pandemic and the closures of around 185 stores in Russia and its localised online store, following the country's invasion of Ukraine. According to the retailer Russia represented its sixth largest market.
The brand has also been experiencing a continued boycott in China after it was among several brands to raise concerns over alleged human rights abuses against Uyghur Muslims in China's Xinjiang province.
The Swedish retailer operates around 4,801 stores globally.
H&M opened its first store in Cambodia on 18 March, and is set to enter new markets including Ecuador, Kosovo and North Macedonia, and via franchise agreements in Costa Rica and Guatemala during 2022. The following year it is looking to open its first store in Albania.
The retailer has also started competing with marketplaces like ASOS and Zalando by selling external fashion brands such as Bufallo, Crocs and Eastpak on its localised websites in Sweden and Germany, with plans to add more brands and expand into other markets in the future.