Like-for-likes at H&M in October hit by weak European demand

City A.M. Reporter
HENNES & Mauritz (H&M), the Swedish fashion giant, yesterday reported a surprise drop in October sales as it suffered from weak consumer demand in crisis-hit Europe.

The world’s second largest fashion retailer said like-for-like sales fell by five per cent in October, sending shares down almost three per cent yesterday.

Total sales, which include new store openings, rose four per cent, less than the nine per cent forecast by analysts. H&M’s total sales were the weakest since April, when they were down one per cent. In September, they grew 15 per cent.

The group, which has 2,715 stores worldwide, has most of its business in Europe, where a sovereign debt crisis and austerity measures have dampened demand.

Thousands of shoppers queued outside of H&M’s Regent Street store from the early hours of yesterday morning to buy the group’s new designer collaboration with French brand Maison Martin Margiella.