H &M Group has released its quarterly results while announcing the launch of a new fashion brand Arket.
Group sales from December 1 to February 28 saw a seven per cent rise to £50.6 million but margins were reportedly hit by a sales slowdown and higher-than-planned markdowns.
H&M has also set to launch its online offering in countries including Turkey, Malaysia and Taiwan in the first half this year.
Its first dedicated home stores are also expected to be rolled out in 2018.
Meanwhile, the retail giant launched Arket, a new womenswear, menswear and kidswear brand, with its first store opening in London in autumn.
The brand will join H&M group’s other retail chains Cheap Monday, & Other Stories, Monki and Weekday and the eponymous H&M.
Arket will be priced higher than H&M and has been described by chief executive as Karl-Johan Persson as “simple, yet timeless and functional”.
“Retail is going through a challenging period of change in which customers‘ shopping behaviour and expectations are changing at a fast pace as a result of growing digitalisation,” he said.
“This is an accelerating development which also brings great opportunities.
“To meet the rapid change that is going on in fashion retail we need to be even faster and more flexible in our work processes, for example as regards buying and allocation of our assortment.
“We are therefore investing significantly in our supply chain, such as in new logistics solutions with greater levels of automation, but also in optimising our lead times.
“In the changes we are making, advanced analytics will provide important support for decision making.”