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H&M Shutters Its Flagship Shop In Shanghai, Citing Lockdowns And Consumer Reaction

H&M Shutters Its Flagship Shop In Shanghai, Citing Lockdowns And Consumer Reaction
H&M has closed its main Shanghai shop, the fast-fashion brand's fourth closure in China, where consumer demand has fallen due to COVID-19 lockdowns and the fast-fashion retailer has bore the brunt of a backlash against companies that refuse to use Xinjiang cotton.
Despite having opened earlier this month, the three-story skyscraper in downtown Shanghai was boarded up on Friday, with no H&M logo.
With the establishment of the Shanghai flagship store in 2007, the world's second-largest fast-fashion retailer entered China and quickly grew. It had over 500 outlets in mainland China as of early last year, but its website now only lists 376, including the flagship Shanghai location.
The business declined to comment, citing a blackout period preceding the release of its first-half earnings report on June 29.
Despite the fact that a stringent two-month lockdown in Shanghai has been lifted, shoppers are yet to return in considerable numbers to malls.
Chinese shoppers have also shunned its items since a letter in which H&M voiced worry over reports of forced labour in the Xinjiang area surfaced in 2021.
Other brands that have publicly condemned Xinjiang cotton, including Inditex's Zara, Nike, and Adidas, have suffered as well, with Chinese netizens calling for boycotts and Chinese celebrities refusing to cooperate with them.
However, the reaction to H&M, the first overseas retailer to voice concern, has been particularly scathing. Unlike other brands, its products are still inaccessible on major Chinese e-commerce platforms like Tmall and
According to UN experts and rights groups, over a million individuals, mostly Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities, have been incarcerated in a huge network of camps in China's western Xinjiang province in recent years.
Many former captives have reported ideological instruction and mistreatment in the camps. China denies all abuse allegations.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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