Second wave batters H&M fourth-quarter sales

H&M fourth-quarter sales down 10% amid Covid second wave
H&M said it enjoyed strong recovery in the third quarter, and that this continued into much of the fourth quarter - before the second wave hit.
// H&M posted 10% decline in 4th quarter sales due to second wave
// Between Oct 22 O& Nov 30 alone, sales decreased by 22% year-on-year
// Full year 2020 net sales came in at 187bn krona (£16.67bn), down from 232.7bn krona (£20.75bn) last year

H&M has posted a decline in quarterly sales as the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic had an impact on its recovery.

The world’s second-biggest fashion retailer said sales in the quarter fell to 52.5 billion krona (£4.68 billion) from 61.7 billion krona a year earlier, with sales in local currencies down 10 per cent.

H&M noted an accelerating slowdown towards the end of the September-November period as the second wave prompted a fresh round of lockdowns in its markets.


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“Between 22 October and 30 November sales decreased by 22 per cent compared with the corresponding period last year, as the recovery transitioned into a new slowdown as a result of the pandemic’s second wave,” H&M said.

Meanwhile, full year 2020 net sales came in at 187 billion krona (£16.67 billion), down from 232.7 billion krona (£20.75 billion) in 2019.

H&M Group, which operates Arket, Cos, & Other Stories, Weekday, and H&M itself, said it started the year strongly and with a positive momentum until Covid-19 gripped the world in a pandemic and forced many countries into its first round of lockdowns.

The Swedish retail giant said restrictions involving temporary store closures and large drops in customer footfall led to a significant decrease in sales, particularly in the second quarter.

H&M added that it enjoyed strong recovery in the third quarter, and that this continued into much of the fourth quarter – before the second wave hit.

H&M will reveal the full details of its annual performance in a full report to be published on January 29.

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