Coronavirus: H&M to close 250 shops as Covid drives sales online

The world’s second biggest fashion retailer, Sweden’s H&M, says it plans to cut 250 of its stores globally.

The closures will come next year after the firm said the Covid-19 pandemic had moved more shoppers online.

Although it said sales had continued to recover in September, they were still 5% lower than the same month in 2019.

The firm has 5,000 stores worldwide, but it is not yet clear how many closures will be in the UK.

It said it was “too early for us to give any details on this, the numbers will differ from [national] market to market”.

H&M has the contractual right to renegotiate or end leases on about a quarter of its stores every year. The retailer said that it planned a “net decrease of around 250 stores” next year.

While its pre-tax profits fell to 2.37bn Swedish krona (£210m) for the nine months to 31 August, this was better than analysts had expected.

However, it said 166 of its stores worldwide remained closed, and a large number still had local restrictions and limited opening hours.

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