H&M to Open Fewer Stores in 2018
H&M announced Wednesday it would be opening fewer stores in 2018, in response the shift to online shopping. H&M also announced it plans to launch a new outlet store to sell external brands alongside its own label. CNBC reports following decades of rapid expansion, H&M has struggled to respond to the growth of e-commerce. The retailer said it planned a net addition of about 220 stores in 2018, compared with 388 in 2017. Plans are to open about 390 new stores and close about 170.
Total Retail’s Take: After a tumultuous 2017 for traditional brick-and-mortar retailers, H&M is a taking a more caution approach to expansion in the channel and focusing more resources on its e-commerce business. Furthermore, the announcement of an outlet store concept could be very beneficial to the brand. Over recent years, fast-fashion retailers have been criticized for being out of touch and wasteful to the environment. H&M's outlet concept could help reach a new audience and be an avenue for future collaborations with designers.