Tuesday 15 June 2021 8:25 am

Sales at H&M soar as restrictions ease but lag behind pre-pandemic levels

Sales at H&M jumped in the retailer’s second quarter of 2021, however they remained well below the pre-pandemic sales recorded during the same period in 2019.

Between 1 March to 31 May 2021, net sales at the clothing retailer grew 62 per cent in the period from a year earlier, or 75 per cent measured in local currencies, to 46.5 billion crowns.

But compared with the second quarter of 2019, the Swedish group’s sales were down 19 per cent.

H&M’s sales and ability to operate as normal in the group’s second quarter was hampered by the Covid-19 pandemic.

At the start of the second quarter some 1,300 stores were temporarily closed and restrictions were in place on stores that remained open, such as opening hours and the number of customers allowed in at one time, leading to reduced footfall.

However the retailer has shown signs of recovery as Covid restrictions eased, with local-currency sales in the June 1-13 period up 35 per cent on the year, and up two per cent from the corresponding period in 2019.

“As more people are vaccinated a number of markets have gradually allowed stores to reopen and the H&M group’s strong recovery continues,” the company said in a statement.

“Online sales have continued to develop very well, even as the stores have opened. This shows that customers appreciate the collections and being able to shop via their preferred channel.”