Skip to main content
Access every election story that matters
Enjoy unlimited digital access
$1.99
per week for 24 weeks
Access every election story that matters
Enjoy unlimited digital access
$1.99
per week
for 24 weeks
// //

A paper bag from retailer H&M.

Fernando Morales/The Globe and Mail

Hennes & Mauritz AB, the Swedish budget fashion retailer, has delayed the launch of its online shop in the U.S. as results fell short of analyst expectations.

Internet retailing there will now start in the middle of next year - nine months later than planned - as H&M grapples with the challenges of selling online. It is also rushing to launch mobile sites in the eight countries where it has online operations.

In the third quarter to the end of August, H&M's pre-tax profit was flat compared with a year earlier at 4.9-billion Swedish krona ($740-million U.S.). Analysts surveyed by Reuters had expected 5.37-billion Swedish krona but H&M said the strong krona had taken its toll.

Story continues below advertisement

H&M has struggled to match the financial performance of rival Inditex ever since the Spanish owner of Zara last year overtook the Swedish group as the world's largest fashion retailer.

H&M blamed a heatwave in many European countries in August for weak sales that month while analysts said Inditex's flexible production - which means it can take just two weeks from designing a garment to selling it - had allowed it to react quicker to the weather.

Sales rose 7 per cent in the third quarter to 28.8-billion Swedish krona against expectations of a double-digit increase.

H&M will open 300 stores this year compared with a previous plan of 275 as the purveyor of cheap chic moves into new markets such as Latvia and Malaysia with Lithuania and Chile to follow in 2013.

H&M also provided more details about its new line, & Other Stories, the latest in a series of separate brands it has launched in recent years. The label will be in shops in early 2013 and will focus on women's fashion through a range of accessories such as bags, shoes, beauty products and lingerie, as well as clothes. It follows the launch of brands such as Monki, Weekday and Cheap Monday, which aim to explore fashion niches away from the main H&M brand.

Pre-tax profits for the first nine months increased 11 per cent to 15.65-billion Swedish krona on sales up 12 per cent to 88-billion Swedish krona compared with the same period a year ago.

Karl-Johan Persson, chief executive, said: "Conditions in the fashion retail industry continued to be challenging in many markets - both as regards the weather and the macroeconomic climate."

Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies