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H&M Considers Charging for Online Returns to Cut Costs, CEO Says

H&M Rewear resale
The company is trying out the fees in Norway and the UK in coming days, embracing a measure that rivals have turned to as well, chief executive officer Helena Helmersson said. (H&M)

Swedish fashion retailer H&M is considering charging for online returns amid a series of efficiency measures to reduce surging costs.

The company is trying out the fees in Norway in coming days, embracing a measure that rivals have turned to as well, chief executive officer Helena Helmersson said.

“We are testing it as a possible measure we could take, all depending on how the customers react,” the CEO said in an interview Thursday.

H&M is looking to slash costs to counter increased raw materials and freight prices after a disappointing quarterly report that sent the share price plunging close to a 18-year low.

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On a more positive note, Helmersson said inflation on some raw materials like cotton and also on transport may have reached a peak -- even though currency effects could keep prices rising next quarter.

“There’s still quite a lot of uncertainty, but it looks like it has peaked and is slowly but surely levelling out,” Helmersson said. “The biggest factor affecting us going forward is the US dollar.”

By Rafaela Lindeberg

Learn more:

Is This the Beginning of the End for Free Returns?

For much of the last two decades, online retailers have competed to offer cheaper, more convenient shopping experiences. What happens when one of the world’s biggest apparel sellers bucks the trend?

Editor's Note: This article was updated on Oct. 7, 2022 to clarify where H&M will be trialling paid returns.

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