In early February, apparel retailer H&M revealed its plans to close 160 stores internationally and renegotiate 1,000 store contracts. H&M will need to reposition itself in the competitive apparel market. It can, however, use a similar approach to its Spanish rival Inditex, which has an adaptable and fast supply chain, reducing the need for heavy discounting. Forecasts suggest growth will continue to slow, meaning H&M is unlikely to be helped by market conditions and will, therefore, need to produce a market leading strategy to take on its rivals.
H&M has been struggling to compete against the growth of online e-commerce giants like Amazon, Asos and Boohoo that offer free shipping and returns. Meanwhile, budget chains such as Primark compete strongly on price. At the higher end, retailers such as Inditex have performed exceptionally well, and the company has managed to ramp-up its online sales.