Today's unpredictable weather patterns are to blame.
H&M has experienced a shaky start to 2018, as they have recently revealed that their first quarter profits have dipped 62 percent to $150 million USD. This number is the Swedish retailer's lowest first quarter report in 16 years, and is well below their revised forecast.
The company's particularly problematic decline in profits is directly linked to the erratic weather patterns experienced throughout the winter months, which resulted in a more temperate January, with a return to frigid temperatures in February. This effectively put the fast-fashion retailer in a predicament, resulting in their largest stock pile-up of unsold goods in over 20 years. H&M was then forced to drastically cut prices on their merchandise in order to shift stock out of their stores and into a consumer's wardrobe.
However, H&M also also experienced a few PR blunders that have definitely had an effect on a shopper's perception of the international chain. The racist hoodie incident resulted in a few high-profile collaborators, including G-Eazy and The Weeknd, pulling out of their collaborative endeavours with the company. Similarly, their lawsuit against a graffiti artist has been unfavourably received by many notable street artists and collectives.
Only time will tell if H&M will be able to overturn their misfortunes and reclaim their retail notoriety.