Fashion giant H&M sees China sales slump after Xinjiang boycott

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Swedish fashion giant H&M saw its sales slump in China, months after it became the target of a Chinese boycott.

H&M was among several brands that raised concerns over alleged human rights abuses against Uyghur Muslims in China’s Xinjiang province.

Its statement led celebrities to cut ties with the brand and e-commerce platforms to drop H&M.

The sales slide came even as H&M’s global business returned to profit as the impact of the pandemic eased.

China accounted for around 5% of the retail group’s sales last year and is one of its biggest suppliers.

H&M’s sales in China were down 23% in the local currency for the second quarter of 2021, compared to the same time last year.

“With regards to China the situation remains complex. Beyond that we refer to what we have said before,” Chief Executive Helena Helmersson said as H&M quantified for the first time the impact of the boycott.

That came as the world’s second-largest fashion retailer reported a stronger-than-expected $420m (£305m) pre-tax profit for the quarter, after a loss in the same period in 2020.

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