Online shift helps H&M fashion sales surge 8% as shoppers continue to switch from High Street to internet
Sales at H&M surged 8 per cent in the UK last year, driven by a surge in spending online.
In a sign of the shift in shopping habits from the High Street to the internet, the Swedish fashion retailer said sales fell 1 per cent in its UK stores but rose 38 per cent online.
By contrast, online sales across the whole group, which spans the world, rose 22 per cent last year, highlighting how British families in particular are the driving force behind internet shopping.
Internet drive: Swedish fashion retailer said sales fell 1 per cent in its UK stores but rose 38 per cent online
Experts said the company was still playing catch up on digital shopping in many of its markets.
Maureen Hinton, group retail research director at Global Data, She said: ‘The introduction of services such as click-and-collect, online return to stores, and next day delivery, are being rolled out, but are in less than 11 of its 47 markets to date and are still behind competitors who have been offering these services for several years, and have moved on to much faster and more innovative options.’
Sales across the group rose 5 per cent to £17.8billion last year.
But profits fell 25 per cent to £1.3billion as H&M invested heavily in its business, including an upgraded mobile app, faster deliveries and the roll-out of click-and-collect.
‘It has been a challenging year for H&M group and the industry but after a difficult first half, there are signs the company’s transformation efforts are beginning to take effect,’ said 43-year-old chief executive Karl-Johan Persson.