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H&M group sales rise as it battles 'challenging' market changes

H&M group has announced a 4% rise in global sales including VAT to SEK 2.31bn (£204m) for the year, despite underperforming sales in Q4 and weak in-store sales for flagship brand H&M.

The group, which alongside H&M also owns fascias including Weekday, Cos, & Other Stories and Arket, said sales including VAT dropped 4% year on year to SEK 58.4m (£5.2m) for the period between 1 September and 30 November 2017.

While sales grew across brands for the fourth quarter, and online sales were reported to be developing well, the H&M brand’s physical stores struggled during the quarter. The retailer attributed this to a “continued challenging market situation with reduced footfall to stores due to the ongoing shift in the industry”.

The group announced plans to accelerate its transformation to a multichannel business with the integration of physical and digital. It anticipates fewer store openings and more closures in the future.

Meanwhile H&M also announced an extension of its collaboration with Chinese ecommerce giant Tmall, where it is set to launch in spring 18. The H&M brand and H&M Home, as well as Monki, will debut on the platform. Discussions are ongoing concerning the launch of the other brands on the platform.

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