H&M Closes 20% Of Spanish Stores, Fires 588 Workers


Local unions say that H&M, a Swedish clothing shop, plans to close more than a fifth of its stores and lay off up to 588 workers in Spain, which is home to Inditex, the company that owns Zara.

Unions CCOO and UGT said in a joint statement that the company will lay off workers for reasons that aren’t clear but could be organizational, productive, or economic.

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The yearly report for H&M says the company has 133 stores in Spain and employs nearly 4,000 people there. In a statement sent to Reuters, the store revealed that it plans to close 28 stores.

H&M said that staying competitive and having shops in the right places were important to them and that they were “consistently” looking at their store portfolio.

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It said, “This involves… improving the shopping experience in our existing stores, actively seeking out new opportunities and making well-informed decisions about closing stores when necessary.” However, it didn’t say why the stores were closed.

This is similar to what other big fashion stores around the world have done in recent years: they’ve closed smaller stores and opened bigger flagship shops that get more customers and can also serve as e-commerce logistics hubs.

According to union sources, H&M has also had problems in Spain with workers not showing up for work and saying they have too much to do.

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To cut costs, H&M announced in November 2022 that it would be letting go of 1,500 jobs around the world. In 2021, it had already cut the number of people working for it in Spain by 400.

“We believe the measure is too aggressive and it is possible to look for solutions which don’t imply job losses,” the unions stated.

In Spain, talks with the unions are set to begin in September. H&M told the union that it knew about it and would work closely with it.

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A CCOO leader named Angeles Rodriguez said that the unions were shocked when they heard about the cuts.

“The company never showed any weird behaviour and was complying with a pay raise agreed last year,” she stated. After workers complained and went on strike last year, H&M gave them big pay raises.

After Inditex, H&M is the second-largest clothing store on the stock market in the world. You can find them in shops and on streets all over the world.

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