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

Krispy Kreme to create 150 jobs with 24-hour drive through in Dublin

The Monday Interview: Recruiter putting its house in order

US firms near tipping point over Trump

Irish firm eyes GDPR profit

Today's Stories

Good food to boost Irish tourism

Slowing house price growth still means huge shortages

Tax authorities on a football winning streak


New father’s life ‘changed forever’ after he was run over by surgeon

More From The Irish Examiner