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Sales down 12% at H&M after cold snap

Like-for-like sales fell 12% at H&M last month, with the Swedish fast fashion retailer blaming the unseasonably cold weather across Europe.

Total group sales fell by 4% in March compared to the same month last year. H&M said this was due to tough comparisons on last year, when like-for-like sales rose 16%.

Managing director Karl-Johan Persson said: “In March last year, the weather conditions were favourable for the season while the reverse was true in March 2013 with unusually cold weather and snow in many markets, particularly in Europe and North America. This has delayed the start of the season for the spring collections and sales have been negatively affected. The unusually cold weather has continued also in April, primarily in Europe.”

Despite the sales dip H&M has ploughed on with its store expansion plans. At the end of March this year the retailer has 2,853 stores compared with 2,517 the year before.

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