The world’s second-largest clothing retailer, H&M, is the latest business to fall casualty to the coronavirus pandemic.
The retailer says it will be closing more than 250 of its stores worldwide.
The Swedish company shareholders that sales fell by 16 per cent to 50.8 billion Swedish krona (£4.4billion) for the quarter to August. About 900 of its stores were closed to customers at the start of the period, due to lockdown restrictions.
However, by the end of the quarter, this was reduced to 200 stores.
Additionally, the company said its pre-tax profits fell to 2.37 billion Swedish krona (£210million) for the nine months to August 31. This is more than what was predicted by analysts.
However, H&M says it has taken “rapid and decisive action’ to manage the impact of the virus. It said its addressing this with changes to purchasing, investments, rents, staffing, and financing.”
The company said it is stepping up its transformation plans with increased digital investment amid increased demand through its websites.
CEO of H&M Helena Helmersson said the company has passed the worst. “Although the challenges are far from over, we believe that the worst is behind us and we are well placed to come out of the crisis stronger.
“Demand for good-value, sustainable products is expected to grow in the wake of the pandemic and our customer offering is well-positioned for this,” she said.
“We are now accelerating our transformation work so that we continue to add value for our customers,” she added.