H&M extends Alibaba collaboration as global sales fall

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Visits to bricks and mortar stores have declined (Source: H&M)

Global fashion retailer Hennes & Mauritz (H&M) has announced expansion in China after it reported a drop in sales in the fourth quarter of this year.

The company, which has brands including Monki and & Other Stories as well as the flagship H&M, said sales excluding VAT were down four per cent compared to last year, bringing in just over 50bn Swedish krona (£4.4bn).

Shares in the Stockholm-listed company are down 12.8 per cent this morning.

Although full year sales rose four per cent to almost 200bn krona, this missed analyst expectations which were closer to 203bn.

The group said that the quarter had been weak for H&M brand's physical stores due to reduced footfall.

In response to the decline, the company said it would accelerate a transformation process which includes better integrating the digital and physical channels.

It also announced today that it will extend a partnership with Alibaba, China's answer to Amazon.

Young brand Monki is already listed on Alibaba's Tmall, but it will now be joined by the H&M and H&M Home brands.

H&M revenues in China currently amount to around 11bn krona.

“We are very happy to be able to make H&M even more accessible in mainland China," said Karl-Johan Persson, CEO of the H&M group. "Tmall is an important complement to our existing physical and digital stores. We see great potential for substantial future growth and Tmall will be an important part of this."

Read more: H&M profits slide as high street decline outpaces online growth

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