Cold spring chills Swedish fashion sales

A cold spring dented sales at Scandinavian clothing giant Hennes & Mauritz in April, with growth down significantly in comparison to their estimated figures.

Cold spring chills Swedish fashion sales
Stockholmers battle the rain. Photo: Marcus Ericsson/TT

The brand’s sales including VAT were up by five percent compared to the same month in 2015, but that was short of the nine percent hike previously forecast by analysts polled by Reuters.

“In many of H&M’s big markets the cold spring continued into April, which has had an adverse impact on sales of the spring collection,” explained the retailer in a comment reported by news agency TT.

The company’s home nation of Sweden experienced changeable April weather, with snowfall persisting into the final weeks of the month in southern and central parts of the country, and sub-zero temperatures continuing late into spring.

That can have a profound impact on a clothing retailer’s sales, according to a fashion expert consulted by The Local.

“The weather definitely affects the way we shop – if it doesn’t change the way people expect then customers aren’t naturally prompted to update their wardrobe for the new season,” said Beatrice Trodden, fashion editor at Swedish magazine The You Way.

“People are inspired and affected by their surroundings. It’s fun to buy a pretty summer dress when the sun is shining, not when it’s cold and windy,” she added.

“Retail can really feel the effects of the weather. The same thing happens in autumn: if the weather stays warm for a long time, sales of coats will be lower than usual.”

Reports of weak April sales have already have had a knock-on effect on H&M's shares, with a price drop of 1.6% on the Stockholm stock exchange reported after the figures were revealed, according to TT.


Uniqlo confirms August opening of first Swedish store

Japanese clothing giant Uniqlo confirmed it will open its first Swedish store at the end of August 2018.

Uniqlo confirms August opening of first Swedish store

The popular fast fashion brand announced in January that it will be entering the Swedish market with a Stockholm branch, but remained coy about the details. Sweden's fashion fanatics reacted with excitement to the news that they would be getting the first Uniqlo store in the Nordics.

IN PICTURES: Uniqlo to open first Scandinavian store in Stockholm

On Tuesday Uniqlo finally divulged the launch date of the shop, set to open doors at Hamngatan near the Kungsträdgården park on August 24th.

It will occupy the Sverigehuset building, built in the 1960s as the final project of modernist Swedish architect Sven Markelius, and the shop will “pay tribute to Markelius by exhibiting some chosen examples of his work” according to the company.

The opening will make Sweden only the seventh European country to boast a Uniqlo store.