In China, H&M is finally back on Tmall
Article by Bleuenn Féquant, published on September 7, 2022
After being suspended from the Chinese Internet following the boycott of Xinjiang products in 2020, the Swedish fashion retailer H&M (US$5.36 billion turnover in Q2 2022, up by 12% in local currencies) returned to Tmall in mid-August 2022.
This return to Alibaba’s marketplace was noticeable. The H&M T-shirt for men T-shirt priced at US$ 5.88 immediately ranked among best sellers.
This is a victory for H&M, which has been trying for a year to quietly regain the trust of Chinese consumers. During the fall of 2021, it focused on two other brands by opening a first store under the &Other Stories banner in Shanghai, plus another in Beijing under the Arket banner. Although these brands remain small contributors in terms of revenues, they continue to expand in Southeast Asia, where consumer momentum is strong. On August 19, 2022, H&M opened a &Other Stories store in Singapore.
However, the H&M brand is still not listed on JD.com or Pinduoduo. In June 2022, the firm closed the Shanghai flagship due to poor sales. As of Q2 2022, the Asia region still accounted for 13% of H&M’s sales.
The move happens as Alibaba, for the first time, reported flat sales in the quarter to June 30, 2022 (revenue of US$30.69 billion) in a context of lockdowns. In China, e-commerce sales (Taobao and Tmall) fell by 1% to US$21.19 billion. During the quarter, Alibaba laid off nearly 9,241 employees, representing 3.8% of the staff.