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H&M postpones some SS24 campaigns due to Red Sea delays

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Fashion retailer H&M has delayed the start of some Spring/Summer campaigns as it is hit by shipping problems, caused by the on-going Red Sea crisis.

Daniel Erver, CEO of H&M, told Reuters that the retailer has made “short-term” adjustments to the launch date of campaigns but stressed that the impact to customers would be minor.

He said the extent of the delay would vary from country to country, but could be around two weeks in some markets. On Wednesday [27 March 2024], as part of its first quarter report, H&M explained that it was monitoring developments in the Red Sea.

The retailer has reacted to minimise any impact on its product availability, freight costs and stock levels. Erver told Reuters that H&M has asked suppliers to ship products earlier than usual, and has accelerated plans to shift production closer to its customers.

Research by the British Chambers of Commerce has found 55% of businesses, including retailers, have been impacted by disruption to shipping in the Red Sea. Earlier this month, furniture firm DFS cited delivery delays caused by the Red Sea crisis and “weaker market demand” for lowering its profit guidance.

Previously, Abercrombie & Fitch and Ikea had both reported facing supply chain issues due to security concerns just south of the Suez Canal.

Since October 2023, shipping companies have diverted to avoid the 120-mile canal, which is the quickest sea route between Asia and Europe, following increased Houthi rebel attacks on vessels.

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