H&M explores ways to reinvent 5000 stores post-pandemic

H&M is looking at ways to reinvent its 5000 worldwide stores post-pandemic, after consumers shifted in vast numbers to online shopping.

The retail chain is exploring how stores could become part of its online supply chain.

The brand’s flagship store in Stockholm currently offers services such as dresses for hire and a beauty salon, which could also possibly be expanded to other stores across the globe.

The worldwide retailer’s chief executive told The Financial Times that the chain is also looking at how stores can play a role in the “logistics of online selling”.

“The physical store network that we have is one of our strengths. It’s the different roles the stores can play, the different formats. What kind of experiences are there in a store? Could they be part of an online supply chain? There are so many things to explore . . . it’s almost thrilling,” she told the Financial Times.

Last year the retailer was hit hard by the pandemic, with sales dropping by 18 per cent of £16.3 billion, compared to £20.3 billion in the previous year.

The company said that sales development was significantly negatively impacted by the pandemic, particularly in the second quarter when stores were temporarily closed across most markets, with around 80 per cent of its stores closed at one point.

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