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H&M ecommerce sales rise by almost a third as the retailer brings online and the store closer together

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H&M Group today reported online sales up by 30% as it continues its strategy of integrating online and the store. H&M, ranked Elite in IRUK Top500 research, is rolling out services that enable shoppers to pick up and return online orders in the store, while also making offering more flexible payment options, faster delivery and improved search.

The fashion group is opening more stores in growth markets including Belarus, where the first H&M store is now trading, while consolidating existing stores in more mature markets. Earlier this year it said it would close 50 European stores while focusing on emerging markets

Its brands are opening on marketplaces in emerging markets including India, where H&M has launched on Myntra, China, where & Other Stories has opened on Tmall, and the retailer is also expanding its own direct ecommerce operations, launching in Indonesia and Thailand in September.

H&M now sells in 73 markets and the group plans to expand its websites for Cos, Weekday, Monki, & Other Stories and Market to about 70 new markets. It is also developing new services around sustainability and recycling.

The retailer today said that its net sales rose to SEK 62.6bn (£5.15bn, +12%) in the third quarter of its year, to August 31, compared to the same time last year, and to SEK 171.1bn (£14.0bn, +11%) in the first nine months of its year. Online sales rose by 30%, in Swedish krona, and by 25% in local currencies. Profits after one-off costs came in at SEK 5bn (£0.4bn, +25%) in the third quarter, and at SEK11.99bn (£1bn, +6%) in the first nine months. 

“Customer focus is our highest priority,” said H&M Group chief executive Karl-Johan Persson. “We are therefore continuing to invest in the best combination of fashion, quality, price and sustainability. And to make the customer experience even more inspiring and easy, we are integrating our digital and physical channels more and more.”

He added: “Our ongoing transformation work to meet customers’ ever-increasing expectations is bearing fruit. The new season has got off to a promising start, with a positive reception for our early autumn collections. Looking ahead, we remain humble considering the challenges brought by the rapid shifting fashion retail. Our transformation is therefore continuing at a fast pace in all parts of the company. We are convinced this will contribute to positive development for the H&M group for many years to come.”

Image: InternetRetailing Media/Paul Skeldon

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