eCommerce: Omnichannel Retail

H&M: Number of Online Stores Increases Globally

H&M's global online store presence is getting bigger and better! Explore the latest move towards multichannel retailing from around the world.

December 01, 2023


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H&M Shopper (blue) Unsplash

H&M Online Presence: Key Insights

  • A Trend Toward Omnichannel Retail: The share of countries where H&M operates both online and with physical stores has grown steadily since 2013. In 2023, 78% of H&M's markets have both online and offline access to H&M.

  • Industry-Wide Developments Force H&M to Act: Rising costs and a shift to online are driving the development of widespread store closures in the fashion industry. A change in which H&M is an active part.

  • Emerging Markets Drive Growth: Despite closures in established markets, H&M continues to enter new markets and expand its store presence in emerging ones. One major region of development for the company is Latin America.

Over the years, the availability of H&M online stores alongside physical ones in various countries has consistently and notably grown. This development reflects an increasing shift towards omnichannel retail.

Of 77 Countries in Which H&M Is Active, 60 Are Both Online and Offline

According to the latest data published by the company, the trend towards a growing online and physical store presence continues, with 78% of countries having both physical and online H&M stores in 2023.

Number of Countries With Both Physical and Online H&M Stores vs. Physical Stores Only, 2013-2023

This means that more than three quarters of customers now have access to a local H&M online store, whereas in 2013 this was the case only for a sixth of customers. The trend reflects the importance the company places on eCommerce. After all, according to H&M, around 30% of sales now come from eCommerce.

The move comes at a time when fashion retailers are closing physical stores across markets. Increased costs due to inflation and a growing emphasis on online retail are driving an industry-wide shift to a hybrid experience that aims to offer more flexibility to consumers while streamlining internal processes.

After ceasing operations in Russia due to the war in Ukraine, which accounts for the loss of one market depicted in the chart above, H&M is otherwise expanding its presence around the world. In 2022, the Swedish fashion retailer entered three new markets (Ecuador, Kosovo and Northern Macedonia). Other efforts include increasing store presence in emerging markets, particularly in Latin America.

H&M's Store Presence: Closing Thoughts

Recent criticism of the fashion industry has prompted H&M to react, and building on a multichannel concept to improve efficiency is one way the fashion conglomerate is doing so. While in 2013, countries with a pure physical store presence were the norm, the trend has changed significantly over the years. The expansion of H&M's network in emerging markets confirms the retailer's continued importance in the fashion industry, despite competition from ultra-fast fashion platform Shein.