H&M Group, the parent company behind retailers like H&M, H&M Home, and Monki among others, announced its plans of closing 250 stores worldwide in 2021 in a report published by the group on October 1. With about 5,000 brick-and-mortar shops across the globe, the 250 stores make up about 5% of the group's total network.
According to the report, the decision to decrease physical stores around the world comes as a result of changes brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. Currently, 166 stores under The H&M Group remain closed due to quarantine protocols in different parts of the world while others "still have local restrictions and limited opening hours." The group notes that they have been able to recover despite the situation affecting "all parts of the business, including product purchasing, investments, rents, staffing, and financing." However, due to the rapid shifts in customer behavior, the company is now turning to "digital investments."
According to The H&M Group CEO Helena Helmersson, "More and more customers started shopping online during the pandemic... and we are now accelerating our transformation work further to meet customers' expectations." She notes that the company plans on not just increasing digital invesments, but strengthening the integration between physical stores and online channels.
Other retail giants like Inditex (Zara's parent company) have announced similar plans to boost digital presence as consumers lean more and more towards online platforms.
This story originally appeared on Spot.ph. Minor edits have been made by the Preview.ph editors.