H&M isn’t living its best life. Its third-quarter profits were down 20 percent, foot traffic is anemic, and of course there was the whole racist sweatshirt debacle – and resultant fallout – from earlier this month.
As reported by Fashionista, the brand “announced in a statement that in the 12 months ending in November, operating profits declined 14 perfect to 20.6 billion kronor (roughly $2.6 billion).”
To compensate for the substantial drop, the Swedish retailer appears to be trying a little bit of everything.
Fashionista notes they’ll be “opening approximately 390 new stores in places like Uruguay and Ukraine,” in 2018, “but also closing 170 ones.” At the same time, it hopes to expand its e-comm reach into places like India, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE.
And, as detailed in a story from Quartz, H&M is also set to launch yet another sub-label — this time of the “off-market,” super discounted variety — that will be “offering products from well-known and popular fashion and lifestyle brands.”
Called Afound, according to Quartz, the brand will “sell discounted clothes and lifestyle items from H&M group’s own labels, which include offshoots such as COS and Cheap Monday, as well as external labels.”
What those external labels will be, however, isn’t exactly clear (the only information the brand provided Quartz was that they’ll be “well-known, popular brands for both women and men”), and neither is how they’ll be acquiring the inventory.
So, to recap, H&M is now taking a page from the same “let’s devalue our shit even more” playbook as Gap and J. Crew – and we all know how well they’re doing.