H&M's Quarterly Sales Lag Expectations

A Swedish flag flutters in front of residential houses in Stockholm, Sweden, September 14, 2023. REUTERS/Marie Mannes
A Swedish flag flutters in front of residential houses in Stockholm, Sweden, September 14, 2023. REUTERS/Marie Mannes
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H&M's Quarterly Sales Lag Expectations

A Swedish flag flutters in front of residential houses in Stockholm, Sweden, September 14, 2023. REUTERS/Marie Mannes
A Swedish flag flutters in front of residential houses in Stockholm, Sweden, September 14, 2023. REUTERS/Marie Mannes

Sweden's H&M on Friday reported flat sales in its most recent quarter, lagging expectations as the fashion firm struggles to attract customers while the cost of living crisis drags on.
"The work towards the company's goal of reaching a 10% operating margin in 2024 is going in the right direction. Profitability and inventory levels have been prioritized in the quarter," H&M said in a statement.
The world's second biggest fashion retailer said June-August local-currency sales, the figure most closely watched, were "flattish" year-on-year, missing the 5% growth forecast by analysts in a Reuters poll.
Net sales rose 6% to 60.9 billion Swedish crowns ($5.45 billion), lagging the 63.5 billion expected by analysts.
Excluding its Russia, Belarus and Ukraine operations - it's Russian stores were temporarily open for part of the third quarter last year but have since shut - H&M's sales rose 8% measured in Swedish crowns, it said.
H&M has announced that it will begin reopening stores in Ukraine in November which were closed last year following Russia's invasion.
H&M had seen a reversal of fortune this year that lifted its share price by 53% as sales rose while cost cuts announced last year took effect, but faces competition from Zara owner Inditex and China-founded fast-fashion retailer Shein.
Inditex beat expectations with a 40% jump in half-year net profit on Wednesday even as the world's biggest fast fashion company slowed the pace of its price increases.
Inditex's sales in constant currencies increased 14% between Aug. 1 and Sept. 11, falling short of analysts' expectations for an 18% rise in a sign that the heatwave in Europe had dented demand for autumn and winter clothes.



Moschino Literally Shreds the Fashion Rules on First Day of Milan Fashion Week

 A model wears a creation as part of the Moschino Spring Summer 2025 collection, that was presented in Milan, Italy, Friday, June 14, 2024. (AP)
A model wears a creation as part of the Moschino Spring Summer 2025 collection, that was presented in Milan, Italy, Friday, June 14, 2024. (AP)
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Moschino Literally Shreds the Fashion Rules on First Day of Milan Fashion Week

 A model wears a creation as part of the Moschino Spring Summer 2025 collection, that was presented in Milan, Italy, Friday, June 14, 2024. (AP)
A model wears a creation as part of the Moschino Spring Summer 2025 collection, that was presented in Milan, Italy, Friday, June 14, 2024. (AP)

Milan Fashion Week reserved for mostly menswear previews opened Friday with two co-ed collections, underlining that the old calendar rules no longer apply.

The week features just 20 runway shows, which should allow time for reflection on where fashion is headed. Moschino opened with a show combining menswear for next summer and women’s 2025 resort, followed by Canadian designer Dsquared2 with a full menswear and womenswear collection.

Highlights from Friday's show:

LOST AND FOUND AT MOSCHINO

Adrian Appiolaza took the rules and literally shredded them in his second season as Moschino creative director.

“The idea of freedom of expression through dressing is what I want to bring to the future of Moschino, which is tied to the original DNA,” Appiolaza said backstage. “It is not about nationality. It’s really about feeling comfortable, dressing the way you want and not the way you should.”

The Argentine designer reads our collective minds as the summer season beckons in the northern hemisphere, tapping desires to break free from the office routine and reach dream destination. Along the way, daydreams take over, and familiar objects shift.

Appiolaza creates a shimmery tank out of big paperclips. A jacket is covered in textile post-its of forgotten tasks. Another becomes the office worker’s survival jacket, with slots for pens, a note pad, credit cards, ID badge, charging cables, nothing is concealed; this later becomes an adventure jacket with field guides and a magnifying glass.

Suits and trenches are deconstructed into dresses. Then they are shredded, as if to say: Enough. The last straw: An airliner perched on a hat. Then a literal straw skirt.

There is release in safari wear, a beach pareo, skirts that work as postcards, knitwear emblazoned with a soccer ball pattern, a blazer printed with still life of an Italian table: ripe tomatoes, a Chianti bottle and bread, worn with a fraying skirt over trousers.

The collection confidently taps the fashion house’s ironic and playful DNA, with fresh and irreverent twists sure to inspire smiles. A suit shirt comes ready with an ink spot. A sparkly pizza smudge graces a tank, worn with an Italian tri-color skirt emblazoned with soccer balls. Men’s brimmed hats are worn in triplicate, as if resized and multiplied by a fashion copy machine.

“They are all explorers, these characters, on a journey of self-discovery,” Appiolaza said.