Swedish clothing giant Hennes & Mauritz on Friday said sales fell below expectations in the fourth quarter and it would close more stores as customers increasingly prefer to shop online.

H&M CEO Karl-Johan Persson said in a statement that the company's ""online sales and sales of the group's other brands continued to develop well"" but that physical stores ""were negatively affected by a continued challenging market situation with reduced footfall to stores due to the ongoing shift in the industry"".

Sales between September and November dropped by four per cent compared to the same period last year to 50.4 billion kronor (5 million euros Jordan Willis Jersey , US$5.9 million). In local currencies, sales fell by two per cent.

On Friday morning, the company's share price plunged by 15 per cent in the Stockholm Stock Exchange.

""In order to respond even quicker to customers' fast-changing behaviour the company's ongoing transformation journey is being accelerated,"" Persson said.

""This includes continued integration of the physical and digital stores, and intensifying the optimisation of the H&M brand's store portfolio - leading to more store closures and fewer openings,"" he added.

The group did not specify exactly how many stores would be closed and where.

H&M had announced earlier this year that it would open physical stores around the world to compensate for the downturn due to fierce competition from online sales platforms.

H&M group Nick Vigil Jersey , which owns other popular brands such as COS, Monki and Weekday, has 4,553 physical stores around the world as of Aug 31.


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BEIJING, Dec. 15 (Xinhua) -- A white paper issued by China's State Council Information Office on Friday said the country has promoted law-based administration to protect the people's legitimate rights and interests.

According to the white paper, titled ""New Progress in the Legal Protection of Human Rights in China Joe Mixon Jersey ,"" the country has accelerated the process of defining in law the administrative structure and its functions, powers, procedures and responsibilities, prohibited administrative organs from expanding power beyond the law, and confined the exercise of power in an institutional ""cage.""

China has been pressing ahead with the reform of administrative approval. Since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in 2012, the State Council departments have canceled the requirement for administrative approval on 618 items John Ross Jersey , according to the white paper.

China has implemented the system of power or responsibility list, through which the public can obtain information about government functions, duties and powers, and their legal basis. By 2016, 31 provincial-level governments had published such lists, said the white paper.

To build a responsible government Dre Kirkpatrick Jersey , China has set up a mechanism of internal legitimacy review of major decisions, and explored the means to establish and implement a lifelong liability accounting system for major decisions and a retrospective mechanism to hold people accountable for wrong decisions, it said.


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