H&M opened in Liberty Center and at the Mall at Fairfield Commons in 2016. GREG LYNCH / STAFF

H&M planning hundreds of store closures

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

The company hasn’t yet announced where these stores will be, but cited plans to optimize retail. The company said the United States, along with Norway, is a challenging market. China, India and Russia were among the countries 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 majority of the openings will be in markets outside of Europe and the United States, the company said.

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

Nearly every local shopping center 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.

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