More than a week after the Swedish retailer H&M opened fire in China for a month-old statement expressing concern over reports of forced labor for Uygar in the Xinjiang region, a major source of cotton, the company published a statement Stating that it is expected to be regained. Customer confidence in China.
In recent times, H&M and other Western clothing brands including Nike and Barbary have expressed concern over reports coming from Xinjiang, they have faced outrage on Chinese social media, including President Xi Jinping’s boycott of support by the government Calls are also included. Local celebrity partners of the brands have terminated their contracts, Chinese landlords have closed shops and their products have been removed from major e-commerce platforms.
Caught amid a call for patriotism among Chinese consumers and a campaign for honest sourcing of cotton in the West, the owner of fast-fashion giant Zara, including some other companies, Inditex, quietly made statements on forced labor from their websites. removed.
On Wednesday, H&M, the world’s second-largest fashion retailer by sales after Inditex, published a response to the controversy as part of its first-quarter 2021 earnings report.
Not that it said much. There was no clear reference to cotton, Xinjiang or forced labor. However, the statement said that H&M wanted to become “a responsible buyer, in China and elsewhere” and was “actively working on the next step regarding content sourcing.”
“We are dedicated to regaining the trust and confidence of our customers, associates and business partners in China,” it said.
During the earnings conference call, the chief executive, Helena Helmerson, continued to “play an important role” to the company’s “long-term commitment to the country” and how Chinese suppliers, who were “at the forefront of innovation and technology”. In further developing the entire industry. “
“We are working closely with our partners in China so that we can manage the current challenges and find a way forward.”
Officials on the call did not comment on the impact of the dispute on the sale, except that about 20 stores in China were currently closed.
H & M’s earnings report, which covered the period prior to recent outrage in China, reflected lower profits for a retailer still dealing with an epidemic lockdown. In the three months through February, net sales fell 21 percent compared to the same quarter a year earlier, with more than 1,800 stores temporarily closed.