H&M Store Closings in 2022

Joel Eisenberg

Earlier this year, the popular clothing retailer announced the closing of 240 locations.

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H&MiStock

Author's Note

This article is based on corporate postings and accredited media reports. Linked information within this article is attributed to the following outlets: Wikipedia.org, ScrapeHero.com, BestLifeOnline.com, Investopedia.com, and Forbes.com.

Introduction

Wikipedia maintains a dedicated page for H&M stores, which states: H & M Hennes & Mauritz AB (abbreviated H&M) is a multinational clothing company based in Sweden. Its focus is fast-fashion clothing for men, women, teenagers, and children. As of November 2019, H&M operates in 74 countries with over 5,000 stores under the various company brands, with 126,000 full-time equivalent positions. H&M is the worlds second-largest international clothing retailer, behind Spain-based Inditex (parent company of Zara). H&M was founded by Erling Persson and its current CEO is Helena Helmersson.

The company was founded in 1947, and has long been considered one of the world’s most prominent retailers in terms of location count.

Currently, according to ScrapeHero.com: There are 506 H&M locations in the United States as of June 29, 2022. The state with the most number of H&M locations in the US is California, with 77 locations, which is 15% of all H&M locations in America.

Outwardly, these appear to be healthy numbers. However, according to a March, 2022 article published by BestLifeOnline.com and entitled “This Popular Clothing Chain Just Announced It's Closing 240 Stores,” H&M has been impacted by a combination of pandemic-related issues and other unexpected business challenges.

As excerpted from the article: H&M just announced that it is planning to shutter 240 stores this year, Yahoo Finance reported on March 31. According to the news outlet, the Swedish retailer has about 4,800 stores globally, and the location of its closures have not yet been announced. H&M's global sales rose 23 percent from Dec. 2021 to Feb. 2022, per Yahoo Finance. But this figure was still down 11 percent from where the company was two years ago just before the pandemic hit. During the recent quarter, H&M said it had been heavily impacted by the spread of Omicron, as well as "impacted by extensive restrictions" in some countries.

Let us explore further.

H&R, 2022

An August, 2021 piece from Investopedia.com, “H&M: The Secret to Its Success,” elaborated on the above and stated the following: The company said it would permanently shut down 350 stores starting in 2021, but that doesn't mean it's giving up on brick-and-mortar… "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," said CEO Helena Helmersson. "We are increasing digital investments, accelerating store consolidation, and making the channels further integrated."

These are no different than strategies implemented by retail giants from Walmart to Costco, as I’ve previously reported on NewsBreak.

For a wider perspective, a January 2021 Forbes.com piece, linked here, stated H&M revenues fell a deleterious 88% from 2019 to 2020: Profits slid 88.2% to £174.4 million in the year up until November 30, 2020, and gross profit fell 23.6% to £8.15 billion.

(Note: The average exchange rate of one euro — the financial unit as listed above — to U.S. dollars averaged 1.142 USD in 2020.)

This perspective is of particular value in denoting the extreme fall suffered by the company, and how drastically their revenues had to improve for the company to remain in business.

Conclusion

As with so many retailers similarly impacted by, and adjusting their business models due to, the pandemic, H&R’s closings are considered strategic in nature.

The company itself has not been announced as shuttering.

That said, I will report any major updates as they are announced, right here on NewsBreak.

Thank you for reading.

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I am an award-winning author, screenwriter for film and television, and producer. My mission on News Break is to share socially important perspectives on both culture and pop-culture. Member of PEN America, and the WGA.

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