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H&M breaks silence on $4.3-billion unsold inventories

(Source: Philstar.com | April 12, 2018)

The March 27 New York Times story titled, “H&M, a Fashion Giant, Has a Problem: $4.3 Billion in Unsold Clothes,” sent shock waves across an industry still reeling from a “retail apocalypse,” when one known fashion label after another is filing for bankruptcy.

In response to the New York Times article, the Philippine office of Swedish fashion brand H&M has released a statement to Philstar.com.

Dan Mejia, H&M Philippines head of communications and press, explained in the report what the company has been doing to get its inventories moving.

“Most of our range is sold in our stores or online, sometimes at a very beneficial price through our sale and other commercial campaigns. Other examples of sale activities include temporary pop up-outlets in certain markets where we sell garments at reduced prices. We also actively move garments to stores where we see a greater demand, or even to other countries where we have too few of the garments. If garments remain unsold at the end of the commercial season we evaluate storage until the next season,” he narrated.

He assured that overstock garments are not sent to destruction. “Even if we would not be able to find a buyer for overstock, destruction of these items is not an option. We follow a waste hierarchy in this scenario – the first option is to send those items for donation so they can be worn again, next one is to reuse as something else, then recycling.”

According to him, “Only garments with mold or products not complying with our chemical restrictions are destroyed as part of quality procedures in our production process. Such products are stopped before they reach our warehouses and stores.”

He ensured that “under no circumstances do we destroy clothes that are safe to use.”

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