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H&M to permanently close 8 stores in Italy

By Don-Alvin Adegeest

1 May 2020

Retail

Fast fashion retailer H&M is to permanently shutter eight stores in Italy, which collectively employs over 200 workers. It currently operates 181 Italian stores.

As retailers across the country plan for re-opening, H&M confirmed in an email two stores in Milan and a third in Bari will not reopen when Italy exits lockdown on May 18. A further five stores in the cities of Bassano del Grappa, Gorizia, Grosseto, Udine and Vicenza will be permanently closed between August and November.

According to Reuters the Swedish group intends to “optimise its store portfolio, add new services online and keep offering clients the best shopping experience, through different channels.”

“H&M has been spending heavily to revive its business after years of falling profits and growing inventories due to slowing sales at its core H&M branded stores.”

“It is in the process of closing some H&M-brand stores across Europe and opening new ones mainly in emerging markets,” Reuters said. “The decision to close is linked to the economic sustainability of each specific store,” H&M said in its statement.

H&M this month said it expected a loss in the second quarter due to the impact of Covid-19. As at March 31, a total of 3,778 out of 5,065 stores were closed and net sales in March 2020 decreased by 46 percent in local currencies compared with March 2019.

Image via H&M Newsroom; article source: Reuters

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