H & M Hennes & Mauritz AB is a multinational clothing company based in Sweden that focuses on fast-fashion clothing. As of 23 June 2022, H&M Group operated in 75 geographical markets with 4,801 stores under the various company brands, with 107,375[b] full-time equivalent positions.[11]

H & M Hennes & Mauritz AB
H&M Group
Company typePublic (Aktiebolag)
Nasdaq StockholmHM B
Founded1947; 77 years ago (1947) (as Hennes)
Västerås, Sweden
FounderErling Persson
Number of locations
4,801 stores (2021)
Area served
Key people
Karl-Johan Persson (Chairman)
Daniel Erver (CEO and president)[2]
ProductsClothing, accessories
  • COS
  • Weekday
  • Monki
  • Other Stories
RevenueIncreaseUS$24.8 billion (2019)[3][4]
DecreaseUS$1.8 billion (2019)[5]
IncreaseUS$1.5 billion (2019)[3]
Total assetsIncreaseUS$19.3 billion (2019)[3]
Total equityIncreaseUS$6.919 billion (2016)[4]
OwnerStefan Persson (28%)[6]
Number of employees
107,375[a] (2021)
Websitehm.com (retail)
hmgroup.com (corporate)
Footnotes / references

H&M is the second-largest international clothing retailer after Inditex.[12][13] H&M was founded by Erling Persson in 1947 under the name Hennes. The company's current CEO is Daniel Erver who replaced former CEO Helena Helmersson in January 2024.[14][15]



The business was established in 1947 by Erling Persson when he opened his first shop in Västerås, Sweden.[16] The shop was called Hennes (Swedish for 'hers') and only sold women's clothing. Another store opened in Norway in 1964.[17] In 1968, Persson acquired the hunting apparel retailer Mauritz Widforss in Stockholm, which led to the inclusion of a menswear collection in the product range, and the name was changed to Hennes & Mauritz.[16]

The company was listed on the Stockholm Stock Exchange in 1974.[16] Shortly after, in 1976, the first store outside Scandinavia opened in London.[16][18] H&M continued to expand in Europe and began to retail online in 1998[19] with the domain hm.com, which was registered in 1997 according to data available via WHOIS. The opening of its first U.S. store on 31 March 2000 on Fifth Avenue in New York City marked the start of its expansion outside of Europe.[16]

Home furnishings

H&M Home section in an Antwerp store

In 2008, the company announced in a press release that it would begin selling home furnishings.[20] While initially distributed online, the home furnishing items are now sold at H&M Home stores worldwide.[21]

Other brands


Concept stores, including COS, Weekday, Monki and Cheap Monday, were launched following H&M's expansion in Asia. In 2009 and 2010, brand consultancy Interbrand ranked H&M as the twenty-first most-valuable global brand.[22] Its worth was estimated at $12 billion to $16 billion.[23][24] Under the "H&M with Friends", H&M will partner with Good American, a brand founded by Khloe Kardashian and Emme Grede, to feature their products in H&M's Swedish and German e-commerce shops.[25] In 2017 H&M founded a new concept store Arket.

Store openings worldwide


H&M operated 2,325 stores at the end of 2011. At the end of August 2012, they were operating 304 more stores, bringing the total to 2,629.[26] In September 2013, the retailer opened its 3000th store in Chengdu, China.[27]



In October 2020, H&M announced that it was planning to close 5% of its worldwide stores in 2021 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.[28] The fashion retailer H&M closed 250 shops throughout the globe and moved the majority of its operations online. The H&M Group's sales growth remained at −34% year-over-year from 2020 week 12 to week 22.[29]

Countries H&M operates in (2023)
H&M store at the Pavilions Shopping Centre, Birmingham, UK
H&M Asia flagship store at Causeway Bay, Hong Kong
H&M store at the Gandaria City, Jakarta, Indonesia
H&M store at the Chydenia Shopping Centre, Kokkola, Finland
H&M Store at Costanera Center Shopping Center, Santiago, Chile
H&M Store at SM City Cebu, Cebu City, Philippines
H&M store at the Ciputra World, Surabaya, Indonesia
Map of H&M stores in the U.S. as of April 2023
H&M Melbourne

Withdrawal from the Russian market (2022)


Along with hundreds of other global companies, H&M announced on 2 March 2022, an end to retail operations of its more than 150 stores in Russia as a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. H&M cited that it stands "with all the people who are suffering" in Ukraine as well as for "the safety of customers and colleagues" in Russia.[30][31] Having recently expanded via its Weekday and & Other Stories formats, Russia was H&M's sixth-biggest market at the time, representing 4% of group sales in the fourth quarter of 2021. The company also temporarily closed its Ukraine stores, which remain closed as of 2023.[32][33]



H&M supplies clothes from different areas around the world. The top three locations that ship its products are China, Bangladesh, and India. Its retail headquarter is located in Sweden, where 21 suppliers and factories manufacture H&M's clothing products and accessories.

Corporate affairs


The key trends for the H&M Group are (as of the financial year ending 30 November):[34]

2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
Revenue[c] (SEK b) 180 192 200 210 233 187 198 223 236
Net profit[d] (SEK b) 20.8 18.6 16.1 12.6 13.4 1.2 11.0 3.5 8.7
Share of revenue online (%) 12.5 14.5 28 32 30 30
Number of employees (FTE) (k) 104 114 120 123 126 110 107 106 101
Number of stores (Group) 3,924 4,351 4,739 4,968 5,076 5,018 4,801 4,465 4,369
Number of stores (H&M) 3,610 3,962 4,288 4,433 4,492 4,429 4,242 3,947 3,872
Number of served countries[e] (Group) 61 64 69 71 74 74 75 79
Number of served countries[e] (H&M) 61 64 69 71 74 74 75 78 77
References [35]


  • In November 2004, select stores offered an exclusive collection by fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld. The press reported there were large crowds and that the initial inventories in big cities were sold out within an hour.[36]
  • In November 2006, the company launched a collection by Stella McCartney.
  • Also in November 2006, the company launched a collection by avant-garde Dutch designers Viktor & Rolf.
  • H&M launched a collaboration designed by pop star Madonna in March 2007.[37]
  • In November 2007, several months after collaborating with Madonna, the company launched a collection by Italian designer Roberto Cavalli.
  • Finnish company Marimekko was chosen as a guest designer in spring 2008.[citation needed]
  • H&M partnered with Comme des Garçons, a Japanese fashion label, in the fall of 2008. Products in the collection included accessories, a unisex fragrance, and clothing for adults and children.[38]
  • For spring and summer of 2009, British designer Matthew Williamson created two exclusive ranges for the company – the first being a collection of women's clothes that were released in select stores. For the second collection, Williamson ventured into creating menswear for the first time. It featured swimwear for men and women and was available in all of H&M's stores worldwide.[39]
  • On 14 November 2009, the company released a limited-edition diffusion collection by Jimmy Choo featuring handbags and shoes for men and women, with prices ranging from £30 to £170. The collection also included clothing designed by Choo, such as garments made of suede and leather, and was available in 200 stores worldwide, including London's Oxford Circus store.[40]
  • Sonia Rykiel collaborated with the company by designing a ladies knitwear and lingerie range that was released in select company stores on 5 December 2009.
  • French fashion house Lanvin collaborated with H&M to create a new collection, "Lanvin Hearts H&M," in fall 2010.[41] The collection, designed to make Lanvin clothing more accessible to the average consumer, featured items that were around 100 euros. Usually Lanvin dresses would cost hundreds of euros more.[42]
  • For Spring and Summer 2011, the company worked with fashion blogger Elin Kling, whose collection was only available at select stores.
  • H&M announced a collaboration with Versace in June 2011 that was later released on 19 November. Versace also planned a Spring collaboration with the company that would only be available in countries with online sales. Similar to past collaborations, Versace agreed to let H&M use its name for a previously agreed-upon sum, without actually having a role in the design process.[43]
  • H&M announced a collaboration with Marni in November 2011. The campaign launched a few months later in Mah 2012 and was led by director Sofia Coppola.[citation needed]
    Trompe-l'œil-printed viscose jersey dress by Maison Martin Margiela for H&M, 2012
  • On 4 October 2012, Vogue Japan editor Anna Dello Russo launched an accessories collection with H&M as Paris Fashion Week drew to an end. The collection was stocked in 140 H&M stores worldwide and was also available to purchase online.[44]
  • On 12 June 2012, H&M confirmed that it would launch a collaboration with avant-garde label Maison Martin Margiela for a fall rollout. The Maison Martin Margiela collection for H&M hit stores a few months later on 15 November 2012.[citation needed]
  • Isabel Marant was a collaboration designer for fall 2013 and, for the first time in her career, made a few men's pieces to accompany the women's collection.[45] The collection sold out very quickly in cities across the globe and was heavily anchored in sales online.[46]
  • During the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in California, H&M announced its first collaboration with an American designer. Alexander Wang was the designer chosen and the collection was released to a select 250 stores around the world on 6 November 2014.
  • Balmain was announced as the next collaboration with H&M through Balmain designer Olivier Rousteing's Instagram page. The collection was released on 5 November 2015.[47] That year's H&M Christmas campaign was made in collaboration with popstar Katy Perry, who also sang the commercial soundtrack "'Every Day Is A Holiday".[48]
  • In November 2016, H&M released a designer line in collaboration with Kenzo.[49] That year the company released an annual holiday movie directed by Wes Anderson as part of the company's Christmas advertising campaign.[50] Titled "Come Together", the short film starred Adrien Brody as a train conductor who saves Christmas after a blizzard delays the train's arrival and causes the few passengers to miss part of the holiday.[50][51][52][53]
  • Swedish singer Zara Larsson designed a "playful, young, empowering and little glamorous" collection with H&M in February 2017.[54]
  • After 20 years, Naomi Campbell came back to collaborate with the company for a global female empowerment commercial spot in fall 2017. She wore clothes that blurred the line between masculine and feminine in the campaign's Tokyo spot-video where she lip-synced "Wham Rap (Enjoy What You Do)" by Wham!.[55]
  • Designers Jeremy Scott and Moschino collaborated with the brand in April 2018.
  • With the idea of reviving the spirit of the swinging sixties, H&M collaborated with designer Richard Allan in July 2019.[56]
  • The Fleur du Soleil collection, part of H&M's collaboration with Lebanese designer Sandra Mansour, was released in August 2020 and marked the first time the company had partnered with an Arab designer.[57]
  • Irish designer Simone Rocha, daughter of designer John Rocha, was announced as a collaborative partner in March 2021. Rocha's designs launched with an H&M campaign film and images shot by Tyler Mitchell.[58]

Sustainability and environmental awareness


Used garment vouchers


Starting in February 2013, H&M began offering patrons a voucher in exchange for used garments. Donated garments were to be processed by I:CO, a retailer that repurposes and recycles used clothing with the goal of creating a zero waste economy. The initiative is similar to an April 2012 clothes-collection voucher program launched by Marks & Spencer in partnership with Oxfam.[59][60][61]

Endangered forests


In April 2014, H&M joined Zara and other apparel companies in changing their supply chain to avoid endangered forests. The company teamed with Canopy, a nonprofit, to remove endangered and ancient forests from their dissolvable pulp supply chain for their viscose and rayon fabrics.[62]

The H&M Foundation


The H&M Foundation, a nonprofit, was established in 2014 to fund projects that improve humanitarian and environmental issues within the fashion industry. The Persson family, the founders and owners of H&M, originally invested $180 million in the foundation. One of the foundation's projects includes the Green Machine, a recycling technology that would allow clothing to be recycled in a similar way to aluminum can recycling.[63] Since 2013, the family has made contributions to the foundation, donating SEK1.1 billion (US$154 million) to it.[citation needed] According to the OECD, H&M Foundation's financing for 2019 development increased by 7% to US$17 million.[64] In August 2015, the H&M Foundation announced that it will award the Global Change Award,[65] a million-euro annual prize, to advance recycling technology and techniques within the fashion industry.[66] In 2021, H&M Foundation launched a virtual clothing collection named "The Billion Dollar Collection" that featured ten sustainable fashion innovation startups.[67]

Brazilian leather halt


In September 2019, H&M halted its leather purchases from Brazil in response to the 2019 Amazon rainforest wildfires.[68] The company issued an email statement: "The ban will be active until there are credible assurance systems in place to verify that the leather does not contribute to environmental harm in the Amazon." H&M imports only a small fraction of its leather needs from the country.[69]

Sustainability ambassador hiring


Actress Maisie Williams joined the brand as a global sustainability ambassador in April 2021. As a global sustainability ambassador, she helped front the company's campaign on using only recycled or sustainably sourced materials by 2030.[70] The first initiative fronted by the actress has led to a collaboration with the video game Animal Crossing, with Williams being transformed into a digital game character to teach the virtues of recycling.[71]

Rental clothing


In May 2021, H&M announced a temporary rental clothing service that allows men to rent suits for up to 24 hours for job interviews. It began in the UK and was also being tested in the United States.[72]

Concept stores


Six concept brands


In addition to the H&M brand, the company consists of six individual brands with separate concepts.[73] Brands include Afound, Arket, COS, Monki, Weekday, and & Other Stories.[74]

COS launched its flagship store on London's Regent Street in March 2007 with a catwalk show at the Royal Academy.[75] Its concept is encompassed by minimalist style inspired by architecture, graphics, and design.[76][75]

It specializes in modern clothing pieces for men and women that are less trend-oriented than other similarly priced labels.[77] COS makes clothing that can be worn beyond the season.[78] COS has 197 stores in 34 countries[79] in Europe, Asia, North America, Australia and the Middle East and currently retails online to 19 markets via cos.com.

H&M Details


2016 saw the hoarding of a new H&M concept in The Dubai Mall come up, labelled now 'H&M Details'.

Labor practices


Working conditions




In August 2011, nearly 300 workers fainted in one week at a Cambodian factory supplying H&M. Fumes from chemicals, poor ventilation, malnutrition, and even "mass hysteria" have all been blamed for making workers ill. The minimum wage in the country is the equivalent of $66 (£42) a month, an amount that is less than half of what is required to meet basic needs, according to human rights groups.[80]



The same year, Bangladeshi and international labor groups put forth a detailed safety proposal that entailed the establishment of independent inspections of garment factories. The plan called for inspectors to have the power to close unsafe factories. The proposal entailed a legally binding contract between suppliers, customers, and unions. At a meeting in 2011 in Dhaka, major European and North American retailers, including H&M, rejected the proposal. Further efforts by unions to advance the proposal after numerous and deadly factory fires have been rejected.[81]



After the 1 February 2021 military coup d'état, many labor groups demanded H&M and other clothing companies divest from Myanmar (Burma) because of the concern that there would be labor rights abuses. There have been multiple reports of labor abuses in factories making H&M clothes. A labor news outlet reported that a worker from Saung Oo Shwe Nay factory that makes H&M clothing was physically abused. Myanmar Labour News quoted FGWM, a labor union, with photos on how the worker was abused by her supervisors. There are multiple reports from other workers from the same factory complaining that they were also physically abused and the employers did not take responsibility, according to the union. There are increasing amount of labor abuses occurring in Burma under the military dictatorship. The largest labor group CTUM has been reporting to the International Labor Organization yearly on Burma labor abuses.

Supply chain transparency


The Guardian wrote that in a conscious action sustainability report for 2012, H&M published a list of factories supplying 95% of its garments.[82] This contributes to the trend of corporations leaning toward ethically transparent supply chains.[83]

Slave and child labour


On 2 January 2013, The Ecologist reported[84] allegations by Anti-Slavery International that H&M was continuing its association with the Uzbek government in exploiting child and adult forced labor as cotton harvesters in Uzbekistan.[85]

In September 2020, amid international allegations over the use of Uyghur forced labor in Xinjiang, H&M published a statement saying that it had stopped buying cotton from growers in Xinjiang, stating that it was "deeply concerned by reports from civil society organizations and media that include accusations of forced labor and discrimination of ethno-religious minorities".[86]

In February 2017, The Guardian reported children were employed to make H&M products in Myanmar and were paid 13p (about 15 cents US) an hour – half the full legal minimum wage.[87]

Since then, H&M has become a Fair Labour Association (FLA) member and has set a goal to achieve fair living wages throughout its supply chain by 2030.[88]

Factory building structural collapses


Savar building, Bangladesh


In April 2013, the Rana Plaza building collapsed in Bangladesh killing over 1,100 people. Fatalities were mostly garment workers. The incident is considered the deadliest non-deliberate structural failure accident and the deadliest garment factory disaster in modern history. The eight-story building complex that was not designed for factory production and had cracks in the structure that the owners ignored. Approximately 2,500 injured people were rescued from the rubble.

The company and other retailers signed on to the Accord on Factory and Building Safety in Bangladesh. In June 2016, SumOfUs launched a campaign to pressure H&M to honor the commitment they made and signed to protect Bangladesh's garment workers. SumOfUs alleged that "H&M is drastically behind schedule in fixing the safety hazards its workers have to face every day."[89]

Phnom Penh, Cambodia


On 19 May 2013, a textile factory that produced apparel for H&M in Phnom Penh, Cambodia collapsed, injuring several people.[90] The incident has raised concerns regarding industrial safety regulations.

Living wage


On 25 November 2013, H&M's global head of sustainability committed[91][92] that H&M, as the world's second-largest clothing retailer, would aim to pay all textile workers "living wage" by 2018, stating that governments are responding too slowly to poor working conditions in Bangladesh among other Asian countries where many clothing retailers source a majority if not all of their garments. Wages were increased in Bangladesh from 3,000 takas ($40) to 5,300 takas ($70) a month in late 2013.[93]

Fire safety report


In September 2015, CleanClothes.org, an NGO involved in garment labor working conditions, reported on a lack of specific fire safety renovations in H&M suppliers' factories.[94]

Xinjiang region


In 2020, the Australian Strategic Policy Institute accused 82 major brands, including H&M, of being connected to alleged forced Uyghur labor in Xinjiang.[95] Specifically the report mentions H&M as a customer of Huafu Top Dyed Melange Yarn Co. Ltd.[96] See also: §Boycotts by China. The evidence adduced was that between April 2017 and June 2018 2,048 Uyghur workers were taken "from Hotan Prefecture in Xinjiang to 15 factories in Anhui Province, including [a] Huafu [factory]",[97] and that H&M listed Huafu as a supplier.[98]

On 16 September 2020, H&M said it was ending its relationship with Huafu.[99] It further stated that it had "never had a business relationship with a mill owned by the yarn producer Huafu Fashion Co in Anhui province where workers from XUAR have been employed".[99]



Boycotts by China


In March 2021, after the EU, UK, US, and Canada's joint sanctions against China over reports of human rights abuses in Xinjiang,[100] H&M's stance on avoiding forced labor in Xinjiang and claim of not going to use cotton produced there was found and criticized by the Communist Youth League of China on its official Weibo page. Their post stated, "Spreading rumors to boycott Xinjiang cotton, while trying to make a profit in China? Wishful thinking!"

The viral post spread across mainland Chinese social media, leading to H&M facing significant criticism among Chinese social media users.[101] On 24 March 2021, H&M became the first fashion brand to be targeted in China, with its products removed from Chinese e-commerce platforms such as Pinduoduo, JD.com and Alibaba, its mobile application removed from Chinese app stores, and rideshare platform DiDi blocking customers from requesting H&M stores as their destinations.[102] Two of H&M's brand ambassadors in China, Huang Xuan and Victoria Song, announced they were no longer collaborating with H&M.[103][104]

In August 2022, H&M resumed sales in China.[105]



Chinese state media outlet China Global Television Network countered the statements against Xinjiang cotton with a video showing automation in cotton-picking and local Uyghurs claiming that the industry brought high earnings.[104] On 26 March 2021, the United States condemned the China-backed boycotts, with its Department of Commerce stating that the United States "has taken strong actions to stop China from profiting off of its human-rights abuses in Xinjiang and to stop imports of products made with forced labor in China."[106]

On 31 March, H&M responded with a statement vowing to rebuild trust in China and serve its customers in a "respectful way".[107] H&M reported sales in China had fallen by approximately 23% for the second quarter of 2021 (compared to the same period in the last fiscal year).[108] According to a report,[109] more than half a million are forced to pick cotton in Xinjiang.[110]

Greenwashing claims


A proposed class action lawsuit in the US alleged that H&M was greenwashing via the sustainability claims made in its Conscious Choice range. These claims were dismissed. Earlier this year, The Norwegian Consumer Agency (Forbrukertilsynet) said it believed Norrøna is "breaking the law" in marketing clothes as environmentally friendly and issued a warning to H&M GROUP against using the same type of environmental claims.[111]

Leaving Russia


In March 2022, the H&M Group communicated[112] that they would pause their operations in Russia due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.



H&M has operated stores in Israel since March 2010 with its first store in Tel Aviv in partnership with local franchisee Match Retail, a division of Union Group.[113] As of December 2023, H&M operates 24 stores in Israel, predominantly around the region of Gush Dan. H&M does not operate any stores in the controversial areas of East Jerusalem or the West Bank.

However since opening in Israel, the Palestinian branch of BDS has campaigned for boycott of fashion chain, demanding that they pull out of the country.[114] H&M's continuing presence in Israel has led to protests in various stores in Europe,[115] especially since the invasion of the Gaza Strip.[116] The company initially closed its stores when the invasion started in October, however the company quietly reopened the stores.[117]

In January 2016, H&M initially put out and later pulled a tallit-like beige and dark blue striped scarf in its Israeli stores, after it was accused of being offensive to Jews.[118][clarification needed]



In January 2024, the company was heavily criticized after its Australian branch released a school uniform advertisement with the slogan "Make those heads turn in H&M’s Back to School fashion".[119] Melinda Tankard Reist, an Australian writer, questioned the brand's motives, claiming that young girls just want to be left alone and don't want unwelcome attention.[120] The company removed the advertisement and apologized.[121]

Other controversies

Time Controversy
6 January 2010 Was reported that unsold or refunded clothing and other items in one New York City store were cut up before being discarded, presumably to prevent resale or use.[122]
24 January 2012 Was reported to have stolen the work of a UK-based artist, Tori LaConsay, using it on multiple items without compensating her.[123]
August 2013 Withdrew faux-leather headdresses from its Canadian stores after consumers complained the items, part of the company's "summer music festival" collection, were insulting to Canada's Aboriginal peoples.[124]
6 November 2015 H&M South Africa division was accused of racism for its lack of black models in their photoshoots,[125] later stating that white models convey a more "positive Image."[126]
8 January 2018 Showcased on their official United Kingdom website,[127] a black child model wearing a green hoodie reading, "Coolest Monkey in the Jungle", which sparked controversy.[128][129][130][131][132][133] This was especially so in the United States due to the use of the term "monkey" on a black person.[127]

In response, Canadian and American singers such as The Weeknd and G-Eazy boycotted the company by ending their partnerships with it over the image.[134][135][136] H&M later released an apology: "This image has now been removed from all H&M channels and we apologise to anyone this may have offended."[137][138][139][140]

The mother of the model urged people to "stop crying wolf," deeming it "an unnecessary issue."[141] After the allegations, H&M stores were vandalized and looted in South Africa. In response, H&M temporarily closed stores there.[142][143]

13 July 2019 H&M docked the pay and suspended several unionized staff in three of its stores in New Zealand for wearing 'Living wage' stickers, as part of a wider industrial dispute.[144][145]
9 December 2020 Sweden's Equality Ombudsman (DO) started an investigation into H&M following a media report accusing it of racism in Swedish stores.[146]



Since January 2012 H&M has offered its H&M Design Award, an annual design prize for fashion graduates. The prize is established to support young designers with the beginning of their careers.[147]

See also



  1. ^ Total full-time equivalent positions; H&M reports do not publish total full-time, part-time and casual employment levels.
  2. ^ Total full-time equivalent positions; H&M reports do not publish total full-time, part-time and casual employment levels.
  3. ^ "Net sales"
  4. ^ "Profit after tax"
  5. ^ a b "markets"


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Further reading

  • Myhr, Karin Jansson (2019). Historien om ett företag: H&M. Storytel.
  • Stannow, Lena (2021). Min sanning : ... efter alla år med H&M. Ultima Esperanza Books. ISBN 9789198691306.