H&M Group’s net sales in local currencies increased by 14% in the third quarter 2021 compared to the same period to 31 August 2020, with store sales and online both growing.
The fashion retailer has seen an encouraging return to pre-pandemic levels of sales globally, however, sales development continued to be affected by the ongoing pandemic, with considerable variation between markets. Lockdowns and restrictions have continued to hamper development, particularly in Asia.
However, as restrictions have been eased, sales in store have picked up in many markets while online sales have continued to increase. Excluding Asia and Oceania, sales in local currencies were back at the same level as before the pandemic.
At the start of the third quarter around 180 stores were temporarily closed. The open stores have had restrictions on, for example, opening hours, number of customers and store space. At the end of the quarter most of the H&M group’s markets still had restrictions resulting in reduced footfall and around 100 of the stores remained temporarily closed.
The results come after first half results for 2021 showed a rapid re-emergence of fashion sales for the group, with online sales up 40% and a 12% rise in overall sales. Sales grew by 75% in the second quarter of 2021, as shopper confidence continues to return.
Helena Helmersson, CEO, commented at the time: “As more and more people are vaccinated and restrictions are eased, the world is gradually opening up and customers can once again visit our stores. With the combination of much-appreciated collections, rapid adaptation and further improvements, our recovery is strong. Despite continued restrictions, sales increased significantly compared with the previous year. The third quarter have started well and we are almost back at the level we were at before the pandemic.”