H&M plans supply chain efficiency boost

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Swedish fashion retailer H&M has vowed to push ahead with plans to increase the speed and responsiveness of its supply chain after reporting weaker than expected sales in its stores.

H&M group sales rose four per cent to SEK 231.8 billion in the year to 30th November, while profit after financial items was SEK20.8m, down from SEK24m the year before.

Chief executive Karl-Johan Persson said: “Our online sales and our newer brands performed well but the weakness was in H&M’s physical stores where the changes in customer behaviour are being felt most strongly and footfall has reduced with more sales online. In addition, some imbalances in certain aspects of the H&M brand’s assortment and composition also contributed to this weaker result.

The company said it planned to invest in new technology and ways of working.

“The efficiency of our supply chain has always been a strength but it must mirror our customers’ fast-changing needs. We are investing further to get even faster, more flexible and more responsive.

“We will invest even more in analytics and intelligence. We see huge potential across the board from assortment planning to supply chain and sales.

“We will continue to invest in our tech foundation. This includes: building scalable, robust platforms; faster development of consumer-facing apps; and broadening our use of technologies like Cloud, RFID and 3D.”

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