H&M sees furloughed HQ staff returning to work in July

Business

Sweden’s H&M (HMb.ST) expects the 2,500 furloughed staff at its headquarters in Stockholm to return to work in July, the world’s second-largest fashion retailer said on Wednesday.

“As it currently stands, we will not seek to extend the furlough period for our staff at the headquarters in Sweden to the July-October period,” a H&M spokeswoman said in a text message.

None of the furloughs at the headquarters would be cancelled before July, the spokeswoman said.

Shares in H&M were up 4% at 0845 GMT, outperforming the wider market in Stockholm .OMXSPI.

In March H&M said it was in talks to temporarily lay off tens of thousands of employees due to the COVID-19 epidemic but it has since been gradually reopening stores.

Some 1,500 of its around 5,000 stores remain temporarily closed, down from around 4,000 at the height of the closures.

Group sales have tumbled and H&M has warned it will make its first loss in decades in the March-May quarter.

In March 1 through May 6, local currency sales were down 57% year on year.

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