By  on January 28, 2010

High-street consumers have started to loosen their purse strings, but underlying demand remains fragile, putting the onus on retailers to prop up consumption with creative strategies.

Hennes & Mauritz AB, the world’s third-largest fashion retailer, beat analysts’ expectations on Thursday by posting a 20.9 percent jump in net profit in the fourth quarter. Meanwhile, French clothing chain Etam said total group sales rose 6.5 percent, with China clocking a 31 percent increase.

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