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H&M announces it will close stores after sales fall 'significantly below' expectations

The high street brand said sales have been weak in its stores although online retail "continued to develop well"

H&M has announced that it is set to close more stores after revealing the group's sales figures for the final quarter of the financial year.

While the company displayed an overall increase of 4% in growth for the year, sales were weak for H&M's physical stores.

Compared with last year, there was a 4% decrease in the same quarter and the retailer said changes will need to be made.

A statement on their website it reads: "The H&M group continued to grow during the year.

"However, the growth was dampened by the fact that the sales development in the fourth quarter was significantly below the company’s own expectations.

"The H&M brand’s online sales and sales of the group’s other brands continued to develop well.

"Meanwhile, the quarter was weak for the H&M brand’s physical stores, which were negatively affected by a continued challenging market situation with reduced footfall to stores due to the ongoing shift in the industry."

The statement went onto explain a number of actions have been taken to correct the fall in sales, with its "management team being strengthened".

H&M west London Stores

  • Ealing Broadway Centre, Ealing
  • Westfield Shopping Centre, White City
  • Kings Mall, Hammersmith
  • London Designer Outlet, Wembley Park
  • George Street, Richmond
  • Kensington High Street, Kensington
  • Treaty Centre, Hounslow
  • Exchange Shopping Centre, Putney
  • Lombardy Retail Park, Hayes
  • St Anns Shopping Centre, Harrow
  • St Georges Centre, Harrow
  • Brent Cross Shopping Centre, Brent
  • Southside Shopping Centre, Wandsworth
  • Oxford Street West, London
  • Oxford Circus, London
  • Oxford Street East, London
  • Regent Street, London
  • Centre Court Shopping Centre, Wimbledon
  • Uxbridge Shopping Centre, Uxbridge

The statement said: "In order to respond even quicker to customers’ fast-changing behaviour the company’s ongoing transformation journey is being accelerated.

"Among other things, this includes continued integration of the physical and digital stores, and intensifying the optimisation of the H&M brand’s store portfolio – leading to more store closures and fewer openings."

H&M has said it cannot state as of yet which stores will close.

A full report for 2017 will be published at 8am on January 31.

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