As of 31 May—the group had 4,913 stores worldwide down from the 5,058 stores in the year ago period. For the six month period, H&M’s net sales in India rose to Rs 836.6 crore, from Rs 645.86 crore in the previous year. Swedish fashion retailer H&M reported a 30% jump in net sales in India for the six-month period ended 31 May, the retailer said in its global earnings release. H&M Group’s financial year runs from 1 December to 30 November.
The retailer operates 50 stores in the country—apart from its own e-commerce channel as well sales on e-commerce marketplace Myntra. Globally too sales increased in the first half of the year, compared to a year ago period.
“The H&M group’s net sales in local currencies increased by 12% in the first half of 2021 compared with the corresponding period last year,” it said in statement. “The pandemic led to reduced footfall as a result of continued restrictions and store closures. At the most, around 1,800 stores were temporarily closed, i.e. around 36% of the group’s total number of stores,” it added.
In India, during the second quarter — i.e 1st March-31 May’21—the retailer reported over 200% jump in net sales to Rs 307 crore, albeit on a lower base.
In the year-ago quarter, the retailer had reported 70% y-o-y dip in net sales as India remained under a strict lockdown for most of the period. The retailer was quick to roll out more comfort and casual wear as the pandemic struck last year. This was true of its collection in India as well.
Globally, online sales have continued to develop very well, even as stores have been allowed to reopen, the company said. In the six-month period, online sales increased by 47% and by 39% in the second quarter. Online sales now represent 38% of the group’s total sales.
“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,” Helena Helmersson, CEO, H&M Group said.
Apart from H&M, the retail group owns fashion brands such as COS, Monki, Weekday, & Other Stories among others. As of 31 May—the group had 4,913 stores worldwide down from the 5,058 stores in the year ago period. It shuttered over 90 H&M stores in the period.
Helmersson said the retailer is witnessing growing demand for fashion that provides value for money and is sustainable.
Meanwhile, the group will continue to close stores. For the full-year 2021 the plan is that around 350 stores will close and just over 100 new stores will open, resulting in a net decrease of around 250 stores. Most of the openings will be in growth markets while closures will mainly be in established markets, the retailer said in its earnings.