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H&M: comprehensive service across 30 markets

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Value fashion retailer H&M offers a competitive delivery and returns service across 30 European markets.

As well as the H&M brand, the Swedish group operates Cos, & Other Stories, Monki, Weekday and H&M Home. By the end of its latest full-year, to 31 January 2017, it traded in 64 markets around the world, and offered ecommerce services in 35 of those markets.

H&M has prioritised a seamless shopping experience through its omnichannel strategy. That includes cross-channel deliveries and returns to store, as well as click and collect. It offers next-day delivery in five markets, a service which it next plans to expand to new markets. It has started to offer timeslot deliveries in Japan. Such services, it said in its 2017 full-year results, underpin its expansion through new stores and online.

It also aims to improve its supply chain in order to remain fast and flexible. That includes investments in technology such as RFID and automated warehouses. “The investments in these areas,” it said in its full-year results statement, “ensure that we are well positioned for continued long-term and profitable growth.”

Full-year results saw it grow sales by 6% to SEK 222.8bn (£19.4bn) in 2016, and it has now set ambitious sales targets that envisage growth of between 10% and 15% a year, both online and through its more than 4,300 stores around the world. Cross-channel delivery and returns across channels will provide one strategy for achieving this target. Its wide range of stores, said chief executive Karl-Johan Persson in his full-year results statement, “gives us a unique proximity to our customers. Being close to the customers is key to success, and even more important as the physical and digital world become increasingly integrated.”

The retailer, an Elite trader in IREU Top500 research, stands out in the Operations & Logistics Performance Dimension Report for services that include fast standard delivery and a comprehensive returns service that includes pre-paid returns. Shoppers buying in the UK pay £3.99 for seven-days-a week delivery to a home address, alternative address or a parcel shop, within two to three days of ordering. The service is free when they spend more than £50.

Next-day delivery, seven days a week, costs £5.99 and is available for orders placed before 9pm. Free-of-charge returns can be made via a Hermes courier or Parcel Shop, via the Royal Mail, or in-store – although delivery costs cannot be refunded in store.

Delivery to a Portuguese customer, by contrast, takes four to five working days, and costs €1.99 to send to a collection point, or €3.99 for home delivery, and returns cost €1.99 and can only be made via the post.

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