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H&M delays launch of US site again as profits dip

Global retailer H&M has delayed the launch of its US online shopping site for a second time following a slip in its profits.

The Stockholm-based retailer reported a lower-than-expected 0.8 per cent rise in third-quarter net profit to $549 million, where it expected a profit of $650 million, blaming unfavorable weather conditions, a strong Swedish krona and the tough economic climate.

The delay in supplying an e-commerce solution to the US came as a disappointment to investors and fans, resulting in a drop in the share price.

H&M went on to reveal that security issues, IT, logistics and payment solutions were hindering the cross-Atlantic development, and that it wanted to focus on staffing resources for a planned global online rollout, which doesn't yet have a launch date.

H&M is also facing mounting pressure as Inditex, the market leader and owner of the Zara clothing chain, continues its expansion into the US with Zara home and Massimo Dutti, another Inditex owned brand, with a reported sales growth of around 12 per cent.

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