Swedish retailer H&M could be planning to close around 170 stores this year, according to Bloomberg. In a move to strengthen the H&M brand, the company noted it would invest more in online sales and digital inventory-tracking technology.
News of the planned closures arrived shortly after it was revealed H&M’s operating profit fell 14 percent in the last 12 months, the company’s biggest drop in six years.
With fewer people shopping in stores, investors reportedly said no to plans that would see H&M create a new subsidiary brand to sell marked-down clothing alongside external brands.
In addition to closing 170 stores in 2018, the company also plans to open 390 new stores – with around a quarter of them falling into other H&M owned formats, such as COS, Monki and newly founded millennial labels, Arket and Afound.
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