Fast-fashion retailer H&M plans to close 250 stores next year as the coronavirus pandemic pushes its customers online.
The Swedish chain on Thursday said it’s accelerating plans to slim down its brick-and-mortar portfolio amid the COVID-19 crisis, which continued to weigh on its sales through September.
“More and more customers started shopping online during the pandemic, and they are making it clear that they value a convenient and inspiring experience in which stores and online interact and strengthen each other,” H&M CEO Helena Helmersson said in a statement.
H&M — the world’s second-largest fashion retailer to Inditex, which owns Zara — expects to close a total of 350 stores in 2021 and open roughly 100, leaving it with about 250 fewer stores than it currently has. The planned reduction accounts for about 5 percent of the company’s more than 5,000 stores.
The pandemic forced H&M to temporarily shutter about 80