Fashion giant H&M is to axe 1,500 roles as it seeks efficiencies and consumers watch their spending as the cost-of-living crisis bites.

H&M, which has almost 5,000 stores in 77 markets and employs 155,000 people, revealed the job losses as part of a programme underway to rein in costs and enhance efficiency.

Chief executive Helena Helmersson said: “The cost and efficiency programme that we have initiated involves reviewing our organisation and we are very mindful of the fact that colleagues will be affected by this. We will support our colleagues in finding the best possible solution for their next step.”

H&M, which has closed some of its UK stores, has taken a hit during harsh trading conditions. In September, the retailer, based in Sweden, reported a steep fall in profits in its third quarter and unveiled a plan to reduce costs by SEK2bn (£158m).

The programme is expected to result in a restructuring charge of just over SEK800m (£63m) in the fourth quarter of 2022.

H&M head of investor relations Nils Vinge told Reuters: “We are in a big transition and the whole retail industry is facing a lot of challenges.

“It’s very clear that when consumers have paid for their food… energy, gas, and so on there is less to spend. So what is obvious is that demand for value for money increases.”

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