H&M to close 250 stores next year 3 weeks ago

H&M to close 250 stores next year

"We believe that the worst is behind us."

H&M is to close 250 stores next year, the retailer has confirmed.

The fashion giant will shut the 250 stores, about five percent of its current network, in 2021 as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to increase the prevalence of online shopping.

H&M reported fewer losses than expected in 2020's third quarter, however the company continues to adapt to the changing retail landscape by shifting attention to online sales.

"Although the challenges are far from over, we believe that the worst is behind us and we are well placed to come out of the crisis stronger," the company's chief executive Helena Helmersson said.

Financial analyst JPM said that despite the plan to closes hundreds of stores, H&M's turnaround is "well on track."

"Overall, Q3 is a better quarter than expected and we think H&M continued to manage well what they could directly influence," they said.

"We think that the market is still not fully appreciating the improved quality of H&M business model and infrastructure. We think instead that this set of results is further proof that H&M turnaround is still very much well on track."

80 percent of H&M's stores worldwide shut during the height of the coronavirus lockdown, with about three percent of 5,000 stores remaining closed.

It is not yet known whether the planned closures will affect Ireland.