Clothing giant H&M planning to close 160 stores in 2019

Clothing retailer H&M is planning to close 160 stores in 2019.

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The company has not yet announced the store locations that will close, but cited plans to optimize its retail business. The company said the United States and Norway are both challenging markets, while China, India and Russia are among the countries that H&M saw both online and physical store growth, according to a company statement.

H&M does plan to open 335 new stores this year, but a majority of the openings are planned in markets outside Europe and the United States, the company said.

The news comes after H&M reported a net sales increase of 5 percent, lower than Wall Street expectations. Several other chains like Gymboree, GAP, Francesca’s and other mall-type retailers have also announced plans to shutter stores this year.

Nearly every local shopping center in the Dayton, Ohio,area has an H&M store, including the Mall at Fairfield Commons, Dayton Mall, Tanger Outlets in Jeffersonville, Liberty Center, Kenwood Towne Center, Tuttle Crossing, Eastgate Mall, Polaris Fashion Place and Easton Town Center.