H&M is pulling out of one of its stores on London’s Oxford Street, throwing its future on the prime shopping street into doubt.
Retail Week can reveal that the Swedish fashion giant is actively marketing its store at 360-366 Oxford Street as it seeks a buyer for the lease, which is understood to expire in 2019.
Sources close to the situation suggested that Foot Locker and Superdry are among the retailers circling the unit, which is owned by M&G Investments and located next door to Forever 21.
It is thought that H&M has chosen to exit the store following a turbulent period of sluggish footfall and sales, combined with the rising business rates bill.
Retail Week understands that the fashion titan is also considering the future of its two other Oxford Street stores amid the treacherous trading conditions.
The West End has benefitted from the weakening of the pound following the Brexit vote, as international tourists spend more money on Oxford Street, Regent Street, Bond Street and the surrounding areas.
However much of that spend has found its way into the luxury sector, rather than feeding through to fast fashion chains.
The likes of H&M, Zara, River Island, Primark and Forever 21 are facing a perfect storm in the UK with the rise of online, unpredictable weather patterns and growing sourcing costs ramping up the pressure on trading.
Prime shopping streets in the capital have also felt the pinch from locations such as Westfield Stratford and Westfield London, which are becoming increasingly popular destinations for retailers looking to make a splash in London.
H&M, which posted a 6% climb in sales in local currencies in December, declined to comment.