The Workers' Commission (CCOO) union has called H&M’s shop closures in Spain absolutely disproportionate and the layoffs of furloughed staff unjustified. Swedish fashion giant H&M has announced plans to close 30 shops and lay off more than 1,000 staff in Spain. The brand plans to close 350 of its 5,000 shops worldwide, while opening 100 others to adapt to the increased digitalization of the retail industry.
The Spanish government has announced €40 billion funding schemes to ease the current crisis in the industry. In return for the funding, companies are banned from laying off staff for six months after the end of the scheme which is currently set to run until May 31, but is likely to be extended.
However, H&M has refused to abide by this rule saying it is not subject to any job maintenance commitment. The brand’s net profit tumbled tenfold in 2020 as a result of the pandemic, although its online sales leapt more than 40 percent on the figures for a year earlier, accounting for almost a third of its overall turnover.