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H&M slashes 100 jobs from Dhaka office amid Covid-19 pandemic

Swedish fashion retail giant H&M has slashed more than 100 jobs from the Bangladesh production office largely to manage the fast changes in the apparel retail industry amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

For the last 27 years, H&M has been sourcing readymade garment (RMG) items from Bangladesh. Now the brand is slowly retreating its businesses from tier 3 or silver category factories and shifting towards platinum-and gold-rated ones, they added.

Figure: H&M sources more than US$3 billion worth of apparel items annually from more than 250 factories in Bangladesh.

According to the industry insiders, H&M sources more than US$3 billion worth of apparel items annually from more than 250 factories in Bangladesh.

In this regard, H&M Bangladesh Country Manager Ziaur Rahman said they made some structural changes in Bangladesh to be more responsive and consumer-centric.

To react to the fast changes in the apparel retail industry and to see the new demands of H&M customers, the Group is developing its organization to become even well-organized, fast-moving and responsive, said Ulrika Isaksson from H&M Group Communications Department.

Ulrika Isaksson said, “As part of this change, we have taken the difficult decision to decrease the number of employees at our production office in Bangladesh by 101 persons.”

H&M has about 650 staff at its production office in Bangladesh.

She said these employees will be the group’s main significance in this process, and that they will fulfill their obligations according to local labor law requirements.

“We have been present in Bangladesh for more than 27 years and the country is and will continue to be, an important production market to us,” Isaksson said, responding to a query whether the huge cut would have any effect on its sourcing from Bangladesh.

The Bangladesh team will remain driving the growth and development of business together with local suppliers and they have no plan to alter their sourcing strategy going forward, Isaksson told.

In 2020, the group permanently closed a total of 170 stores while around 130 openings, ensuing in a net decrease in the number of stores of around 40 globally.

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