Covid-19: H&M delivers positive trading from reopened stores

Ahead of H&M reopening its UK stores today the overall group has 82% of its units trading around the globe with sales in the first half of June down by 30% on the same period last year.

As part of its trading update for Q2 H&M also revealed that for the period 1 March to 30 May the company endured a year-on-year sales fall of 50%. This timeframe included stores that had been reopening in various markets from late-April onwards.

As well as trading from these stores, H&M was also able to offset some of its lost physical sales through its online platform. Over Q2 its web sales have grown 32% as the business has traded online in all but three of its 51 global markets.

Although this performance has been described as “robust” by brokers Bernstein it has been tracking behind the online sales levels at major rival Inditex, which reported a 50% year-on-year increase from its web stores over this same period.

In contrast, H&M’s performance from its stores base has been much more similar to that of Inditex, with the latter’s sales over March-to-May down by 34% in early June versus the 30% recorded by H&M.  

H&M has stated that the sales growth trend has been positive week over week through Q2 as it has continued to reopen stores. The remaining 900 shuttered outlets are expected to gradually reopen including a few key markets (including the UK) scheduled for June start dates.

Non-essential retailers in the UK are today allowed to reopen their stores for the first time in nearly three months, with performances in the coming weeks and months set to be critical to their recovery.