H&M is one of the largest clothing retailers in the world. However, recently, many well-known brands have been struggling to keep up with the fast-paced world of online retailers. This struggle between the digital and the physical has led to many brands downsizing their stores and lowering their prices.
H&M is among the newest names added to the list.
Just this past Thursday, the Swedish fast fashion retailer reported its quarterly earnings, which have declined by 21%. The total profit, which amounted to $520 Million, came up relatively short when held up against H&M’s 4,700 store locations. Karl John Persson, the company’s chief executive, gave an official statement, saying:
“The first half of the year has been somewhat more challenging than we originally thought.”
Just this past March, H&M admitted that it had not sold around $4.3 billion worth of clothes.
As a result, according to Reuters, the fast fashion company will now be marking down the prices of their clothes, in hopes of selling some of their excess merchandise.
H&M, which has been hailed by many as the founder of fast fashion, has found tricky competition in growing e-retailers such as ASOS and Boohoo, which are able to produce clothes and get them to consumers in just a fraction of the time it takes for stores like H&M to change seasons.
In an article by the LA Times published last April, expert Elizabeth Cline stated:
“The chain is becoming irrelevant because warp-speed, low-priced clothing is now ubiquitous and sales have moved online. H & M, the founder of fast fashion, is moving too slow.”
As a recuperative strategy, the company has stated that it plans to focus its efforts on its website, particularly when it comes to shipping. Persson has said:
“The fashion industry is changing fast. At the heart of the transformation is digitalization, and it is driving the need to transform and rethink faster and faster.”
This, of course, comes after numerous people have vented on social media platforms about the sluggish shipping times of the brand’s website.
H&M did make an announcement last year about closing 170 of its stores, meaning that they are certainly trying to keep up with the ever-growing digital marketplace.
Featured Image via Wikimedia Commons