By  on February 17, 2009

PARIS — Fast-fashion retailer Hennes & Mauritz on Monday reported a 1 percent drop in comparable-store sales in January, but overall revenues for the month, including new stores, were up 9 percent.

The company did not break out actual sales figures.

Although posting its best monthly percentage gain since July 2008, it is also the first negative figure for the month of January since at least 2006. However, the decline in same-store sales was the smallest drop in six months.

The Swedish giant had 1,741 stores at the end of January, compared with 1,524 at the end of January 2008. The latest tally includes 25 Monki and Weekday doors, under the Swedish Fabric Scandinavien business that H&M acquired last year.

H&M will continue that pace of expansion, with plans to open 225 stores worldwide this year — including its first in Beijing, and also a focus on the U.S., France, Italy, Spain, the U.K. and Germany — that will create 7,000 jobs.

H&M last week said Karl-Johan Persson, 34, grandson of H&M founder Erling Persson and son of its chairman of the board, Stefan Persson, will become its next chief executive officer. Persson will take the post on July 1, succeeding Rolf Eriksen, who will retire this year.

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