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Gloucestershire Business News

H&M plans to shut 170 stores as sales fall

Fashion retail chain H&M is to shut 170 stores after seeing sales dive during the coronavirus pandemic in the last quarter.

The Swedish group has 300 outlets across the UK, including branches in Cheltenham and Gloucester, among 5,000 around the world.

Closures will be made around the globe with 130 new shops planned to open before the end of the year.

Sales fell by a quarter in June as lockdown restrictions were gradually eased.

A company spokesman said: "Our physical stores are incredibly important to us and we want to ensure that we have H&M stores in the right locations.

"In the six-month report, H&M Group has previously announced that on a global level, it will close around 170 of around 5,000 stores around the world, across all of its seven brands.

"At this stage we cannot comment on how this might affect stores in the UK."

Chief executive Helena Helmersson said: "I am full of admiration for our employees' commitment, drive and perseverance during this very challenging time.

"As we have reopened our stores, sales have begun to recover at a faster rate than expected.

"To meet the rapid changes in customer behaviour caused by Covid-19 we are accelerating our digital development, optimising the store portfolio and further integrating the channels.

"With our ambitious sustainability work we want to continue to lead fashion retail towards a more sustainable future."

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