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H&M plots upmarket concept

H&M is understood to be planning an upmarket womenswear concept and is considering locations for its launch, including a site in Hamburg in Germany.

The Swedish fashion business has been in talks with the Hamburg property’s owner, sparking rumours that the location could also be used to open one of the business’s recently acquired chains, Weekday or Monki.

H&M is also planning to open its first women-only store in Saudi Arabia. The shop, to be run by franchise partner Alshaya, will be staffed exclusively by women.

A spokesman for H&M declined to comment.

The company also posted a 10% drop in comparable store sales in April, which it attributed to the cold weather. However, May had got off to a good start, it said.

Total sales in April dropped 1% compared with the previous year, against market expectations of a 6.6% rise.

H&M managing director Rolf Eriksen said: “Considerably colder weather in most markets led to substantially weaker sales.” However, he added: “The negative sales trend ended with warmer weather in the beginning of May. Sales during the first two weeks of May have been very satisfying.”

The retailer currently trades from 1,560 stores.

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