Low-cost fashion chain H&M sees sales pick up after virus

STOCKHOLM (AP) — Low-cost fashion brand Hennes & Mauritz AB said Thursday its in-store sales rose 14% to 55.6 million kronor ($6.3 million) in the third quarter, up from 50.9 million kronor a year ago, as store sales have started to recover after the pandemic with restrictions being eased in many markets. Online sales increased even more, up 22%.

The Stockholm-based retailing group said that at the beginning of the period June 1-Aug. 31 around 180 stores were temporarily closed and at the end of that term around 100 stores remained closed.

“As restrictions have been eased in many markets, store sales have started to pick up again, all while online sales have continued to grow,” H&M CEO Helena Helmersson said.

However, “the pandemic and its consequences are not yet over, and we are humbled by the many challenges in the world around us that affect our business, which call for a high level of flexibility and drive.”

H&M’s profit after tax increased to 4.7 billion kronor ($536 million). A year earlier, it had reported a profit of 1.8 billion kronor.

The group said that five new H&M markets will launch in 2022: Ecuador, North Macedonia and Kosovo, and via franchise in Costa Rica and Cambodia.

Beside H&M, the group’s brands include COS, Monki, Weekday, Cheap Monday, & Other Stories, H&M HOME, ARKET and Afound.

The H&M group has 53 online markets and approximately 4,850 stores in 75 markets including franchise markets. It has approximately 153,000 employees.

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