H&M shares plunge after ‘worst sales on record’

By Thomas Mulier

H&M shares plummeted after the Swedish apparel chain lost more ground to Inditex’s Zara, amid a crisis in brick-and-mortar stores that threatens to undermine retailers with underdeveloped online businesses.

H&M reported the biggest drop in quarterly sales in at least a decade as fewer customers visited its flagship brand’s locations, leading the company to pare expansion plans and consider closures. The stock fell up to16%, the steepest intraday decline since March 2001.

A crisis that has shuttered shopping malls in the US is spreading to other parts of the world, hitting H&M’s earnings and forcing the retailer to cut prices to clear out inventory.

Rival Inditex has been outpacing the Swedish company as it expands more aggressively in e-commerce. The Spanish company this week reported a double-digit rebound in revenue growth for November and early December. H&M reported “quite possibly the worst quarterly sales performance on record,” said Raymond James analyst Cedric Lecasble.

Sales excluding Vat fell to $6bn (€5.1bn) in the three months to November, the Stockholm-based fashion retailer said. H&M’s sales have declined in only three quarters in the past 10 years.

It said it aims to accelerate a plan to better integrate physical and digital stores, and it will give more details on changes at a February meeting with investors. The retailer said online sales and revenue of brands other than H&M have been going well.

- Bloomberg

More in this Section

Independent News and Media chairman to step down in March

Higher number of American tourists expected to visit Ireland in 2018

HSBC pays $101m to US authorities in currency rigging probe settlement

Boeing slump puts brakes on Wall Street after record run

Today's Stories

British farmers at risk of ploughing lonely furrow

More currency volatility seems to be on horizon

Reform of local property tax flaws is overdue

Correlation between studying economics and greed


The biggest cancer killer will take your breath away

Hopefully she had an idea...

Power of the press: Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks discuss 'The Post'

More From The Irish Examiner