Fashion Retailer H&M With 35 FL Locations To Close 250 Stores



FLORIDA — H&M, a low-cost fashion retailer based in Sweden with a heavy mall presence in Florida, said it plans to close up to 250 stores next year because of decreased foot traffic amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The announcement by parent company H&M Group came in an earnings summary released Thursday.

In September alone, sales decreased by 5 percent. H&M currently has 166 stores, or about 3 percent of its total number of stores, still closed. At the peak of the pandemic, about 80 percent of H&M’s 5,000 stores worldwide were closed.

Many stores that are open still have local restrictions and limited opening hours, officials said. For example, some mall stores in Florida have shorter hours than they did before the pandemic. More customers are shopping online, the report notes.

Even before boutiques and malls were shut down by the coronavirus outbreak, traditional brick-and-mortar establishments were losing revenue and customers to e-commerce giants such as Amazon, Target and Walmart.

“The rapid changes in customer behavior have been accelerated by Covid-19,” according to the earnings report. “The H&M group is therefore now stepping up the pace of its transformation work further, with digital investments, optimization of the store portfolio and increasingly integrated channels.”

H&M officials said about a quarter of its stores have a contractual right to renegotiate or exit their leases each year and put the potential closure total at 250 stores.

Specific stores slate for closure were not disclosed in the earnings report.

H&M’s Florida stores include:

  • Altamonte Mall in Altamonte Springs

  • Aventura Mall in Aventura

  • Boynton Beach Mall in Boynton Beach

  • CityPlace in West Palm Beach

  • Coastland Center in Naples

  • Cordova Mall in Pensacola

  • Destin Commons in Destin

  • Dolphin Mall in Miami

  • International Plaza in Tampa

  • Lakeland Square in Lakeland

  • Lincoln Road Mall in Miami Beach

  • Melbourne Square in Melbourne

  • Miami International Mall in Doral

  • Miromar Outlets in Estero

  • Orlando International Premium Outlets in Orlando

  • Pembroke Lakes Mall in Pembroke Pines

  • Rosemary Square in West Palm Beach

  • Sarasota Square Mall in Sarasota

  • Sawgrass Mills in Sunrise

  • Seminole Towne Center in Sanford

  • St. Augustine Outlets in St. Augustine

  • The Avenues in Jacksonville

  • The Florida Mall in Orlando

  • The Galleria Fort Lauderdale in Fort Lauderdale

  • The Gardens Mall in Palm Beach Gardens

  • The Mall at Millenia in Orlando

  • The Mall at University Town Center in Sarasota

  • The Mall at Wellington Green in Wellington

  • The Oaks Mall in Gainesville

  • Tyrone Square Mall in St. Petersburg

  • Volusia Mall in Daytona Beach

  • Westfield Broward Mall in Plantation

  • Westfield Citrus Park in Tampa

  • Westland Mall in Hialeah

  • WestShore Plaza in Tampa

Lord & Taylor is closing all of its stores, including the last Florida location in Boca Raton, as the retailer gears up for a series of going-out-of-business sales.

Other staples of the retail landscape have announced closing plans this year, which in some cases were accelerated by the pandemic.

Macy’s officials in February said the iconic department stores plans to close 125 stores over the next three years, representing a fifth of the retail giant’s locations. Four Macy’s locations at Pompano Beach, Sanford, Vero Beach and Miami are expected to close in the first part of 2020.

Chains that are closing Florida stores include Pier 1 Imports, Bed Bath & Beyond, Papyrus, Gap, Motherhood Maternity, Dressbarn and more.

In early June, JCPenney announced it will close 154 locations nationwide, including nine stores in Florida after filing for bankruptcy.

And in May, the company that owns Victoria’s Secret, PINK and Bath & Body Works stores said that a total of about 300 stories would close nationwide in the coming months. Florida has 17 PINK stores and dozens of Bath & Body Works stores.

A record 9,300-plus store closings were announced in 2019, and that number could be even higher in 2020, according to a report by Business Insider.

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This article originally appeared on the Sarasota Patch

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