FASHION chain H&M will shut 30 of its stores in Spain, putting 1,100 jobs at risk.

The closure affects one fifth of the retailer’s branches across the country. 

H&M announced its intention to 350 stores across the world today (April 4) and revealed stores had been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, with net profit dropping tenfold in 2020.  

The firm however was able to take advantage of online sales, with shopping on the H&M site up more than 40% from 2019. Currently, e-shopping accounts for almost a third of H&M’s overall turnover.  

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The company, which was founded in Sweden in 1947, is the second-largest global clothing retailer, behind Inditex, who owns Spanish brands Zara and Bershka. 

H&M said the ‘content growth of online’ sales represented a ‘great change’ for the brand and plans to invest further into e-commerce as part of the shake-up of its operations.

The group will carry out a ‘transformation and reorganisation’ process worldwide to have a ‘more efficient’ structure and integrate physical and online stores.

H&M has said that it will prioritise voluntary redundancies to ‘minimise’ the impact.

The Workers’ Commission (CCOO) said H&M’s decision to lay off more than 1000 staff in Spain, many of whom are currently on furlough, was  ‘unjustified and disproportionate’.

The union, which represents a majority of the staff, said the difficulties brought on by the coronavirus crisis ‘does not justify in any way such a number of layoffs especially as H&M has been benefiting from the ERTE scheme that the Government introduced during the pandemic.’ 

The fashion giant has H&M stores has 150 locations across the country, including stores in Marbella, Fuengirola, Malaga and Vélez-Málaga. 

It is not yet known which premises will be impacted by the cuts. 

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