PARIS — Hennes & Mauritz AB shares sank to their lowest levels in eight years Friday after the company reported disappointing fourth-quarter sales.Sales in the period ending Nov. 30 totaled 58.45 billion kronor, or $6.95 billion, including VAT, down 2 percent in local currencies. The Swedish retailer called the quarterly performance “significantly below the company’s own expectations” due to “weak” business at its stores.Revenues were hit by reduced footfall, the Swedish retail giant said, announcing plans to close more stores and launch its H&M and H&M Home brands on Tmall in the spring. The fast fashion company already sells its brand Monki through the online platform. H&M generates around $1.3 billion in China, where it opened its first store a decade ago.H&M said it is accelerating its online push to respond more quickly to changing consumption habits. “This includes continued integration of the physical and digital stores, and intensifying the optimization of the H&M brand’s store portfolio — leading to more store closures and fewer openings,” it said in a statement.The quarterly sales figure was “quite possibly the worst quarterly sales performance on record,” Cedric Lecasble, analyst with Raymond James, said in a note to clients. He had banked on a 3 percent rise in quarterly sales at constant rates, which was already below the consensus estimate of a 5 percent rise.“H&M has captured some benefits from the consumer shift to online shopping, but the group’s stores have not. Management is rightly investing heavily in an integrated off-line/online model, based on which the store becomes more central (through pick-ups, returns and repurchases),” said Lecasble. “The transition to a stronger model is proving to be slow, and the market knows it,” he added.H&M has been in focus in recent weeks, with Barclays downgrading the group to underweight in November, noting much of its growth came from opening new stores. Lecasble Friday also highlighted the issue, saying the company should focus more on improving the existing store set up and performance than opening new ones. RCC Capital Markets in a note earlier this month flagged store and online integration at H&M as “challenging.”H&M said on Friday that it is in advanced discussions to launch the rest of its brands — which include Cheap Monday, COS, & Other Stories, Weekday and Arket — on Tmall.“H&M is a perfect fit for Alibaba’s Tmall platform,” said Alibaba president Michael Evans, calling the retailer “one of the world’s most innovative fashion companies.”“Tmall is an important complement to our existing physical and digital stores,” H&M chief executive officer Karl-Johan Persson.“This should dramatically extend the reach of the H&M brand in China,” Richard Chamberlain, analyst with RBC Europe, said in a note to clients. Chamberlain said the quarter was “very challenging,” adding the company’s product offer was “very sub-optimal this season.”H&M is looking to create excitement around its brands with celebrity collaborators, drafting in Nicki Minaj to star in its holiday campaign. The retailer said on Friday it is working with hip-hop star G-Eazy for a men’s collection set to drop on March 1 in stores and online around the world.“We love his unique take on streetwear with tailoring,” said H&M’s men’s wear design director Andreas Löwenstam, citing the rapper’s appetite for checks and vivid colors.The company’s quarterly sales report comes two days after Zara-owner Inditex reported a 6 percent rise in nine-month sales, reassuring markets about its performance ahead of the crucial holiday period. Inditex has grown in favor with analysts over H&M in recent months, with reports praising the Spanish company’s push online.
In honor the @CFDA’s announcement of @iamnaomicampbell receiving the Fashion Icon Award at the 2018 #CFDAAwards, which will take place on June 4, here’s a #tbt of the supermodel on @michaelkors’ runway in 1991. #wwdfashion #wwdarchive (📷: George Chinsee)
“I was making the guacamole when my scout saw me,” says model @stuckinteenage on being discovered just six months ago while working at @chipotlemexicangrill. Since then Williams has signed with @dnamodels, walked in her first show at @calvinklein and landed on the cover of @vogueitalia – a high point of any model’s career. To read @lisajlockwood’s full interview with the model on her experiences thus far, head to WWD.com – link in bio. (📷: George Chinsee)
“I love the idea of dialogue, period. It’s where I’ve always gotten my inspiration from: hearing other women speak, their journeys and their paths,” said @hereisgina, who delivered the keynote speech during @sxsw for @createcultivate in partnership with @fossil. For her two panels, Rodriguez chose female empowering, female-led and female entrepreneurs to focus on. Head to WWD.com to read more about her thoughts on Time’s Up, growing up in a family of women and why we “need a girls’ club.” #wwdeye #sxsw (📷: @jgreenery)
Leading luxury brand are shaking things up to keep up with streetwear. Case in point: the arrival of @mrkimjones as artistic director of @diorhomme. Jones, who succeeds @Kris_Van_Assche, is seen as one of the handful of designers who can actually straddle the luxury and streetwear worlds — which could lead to even more changes at established brands. What could this mean for the rest of the menswear landscape? Head to WWD.com to find out what experts predict #wwdfashion (📷: @franckmura)
“It’s like buying groceries. You’re going to buy the best mango, the best mozzarella, the best things. You have to, or others are going to take it all,” said @gabrielahearst on why she uses only the finest fabrics. Last week, Hearst received her first @cfda nomination for Womenswear Designer of the Year, and earlier this month she opened a permanent showroom in Paris. To read @jessiredale’s interview with the designer and find out why this is shaping up to be a big year for her, head to WWD.com. #wwdfashion (📷: @francoisgoize)
“It’s an interesting thing, playing a younger version of your mother. It’s an interesting concept. I adore my mom and love her in every capacity, but it was just something that had never crossed my mind,” says @anniemstarke on playing a young Joan Castleman in “The Wife.” The same role will be played by her mother Glenn Close. Read more about her growing up in the film industry as the daughter of producer John H. Starke and Close and what she has planned for the future #wwdeye (📷: @nataliamantini)
@asics is launching a new streetwear sneaker inspired by its latest ambassador, @steveaoki. The Hyper-Kenzen x Aoki, which will launch at @footlocker stores exclusively tomorrow, is a slip-on style that incorporates the brand’s proprietary Gel technology through beads integrated into the midsole for comfort and endurance. Read the full story on WWD.com.