Sep 2, 2021
H&M’s Spanish and Portuguese subsidiaries have a new man at the helm, as the Swedish fashion giant has appointed Ralf Wein as the CEO of Spain and Portugal. This will not be new territory for Wein, who had already been in charge of the Spanish market for H&M between 2016 and 2019. Wein’s appointment came after Katarzyna Niemirowicz, formerly in charge of the business in Spain and Portugal, was named general manager of H&M’s Italian subsidiary.
Wein has worked at the fast-fashion giant for over two decades, in the course of an intense managerial career that saw him oversee several European markets, such as Greece in 2010, Bulgaria in 2012, and the Eastern European region (Poland, the Czech Republic, Romania and Slovakia) between 2012 and 2016.
Wein then took over the reins of H&M’s Spanish subsidiary until 2019, when he was appointed regional country manager South Europe and general manager France. To exercise his new functions, Wein will move from Paris to Barcelona, where H&M has decided to establish the regional headquarters for southern Europe, as the group has indicated.
Wein’s responsibilities will include driving H&M’s local business, notably spearheading the group’s recovery after several months marked by the pandemic and its associated restrictions, as well as deploying a restructuring plan for the Spanish market, which will involve a total of 349 redundancies (of the 1,100 initially announced) and the closure of 30 stores. A policy that is part of H&M’s international reorganisation plan, which features about 100 new store openings and 350 closures between now and the start of 2022.
In the past financial year, closed on 30 November 2020, the Swedish group’s revenue shrank by 18%, down to SEK187.031 billion (€18.474 billion). In the same period, H&M recorded a net income of SEK1.243 billion (€123 million), equivalent to a 91% decrease compared to the previous fiscal year, while the group’s sales in Spain fall by 30% to SEK5.535 billion (€546 million).
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