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Sales of fashion giant H&M recovered in March as stores reopened after the lockdown | Instant News


STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – Sales at fashion group H&M fell slightly than expected in the three months to February and rose in the first half of March as pandemic curbs in some markets eased, allowing hundreds of stores to reopen.

FILE PHOTOS: Clients wait in front of H&M clothing store which reopened after the Swiss government relaxed some restrictions on COVID-19, as the spread of the coronavirus disease continues, on the Bahnhofstrasse shopping street in Zurich, Switzerland March 4, 2021 REUTERS / Arnd Wiegmann

The world’s second-largest clothing retailer said on Monday net sales fell 27% from a year earlier, or 21% in local currency terms, to 40.1 billion crowns ($ 4.72 billion).

Analysts on average expect a 30% drop in net sales for the period – Sweden’s group’s first fiscal quarter – according to Refinitiv SmartEstimate.

“Sales developments have been significantly affected by the COVID-19 situation, with extensive restrictions and at most 1,800 shops temporarily closed,” H&M said in a statement.

“Since early February, a number of markets have gradually allowed stores to reopen and at the end of the quarter about 1,300 stores remained temporarily closed,” he said, adding that online sales had continued to grow very well.

RBC analyst Richard Chamberlain, who has a “sector performance” rating on H&M shares, said the figure implied that online sales had provided a stronger-than-expected boost in February.

H&M said sales in the March 1-13 period rose 10% in local currencies as many countries, including Germany’s largest single market, started allowing some shops to reopen. However, about 900 of the roughly 5,000 H&M stores remain closed due to the pandemic lockdown on March 13.

Chamberlain said most stores should open by mid-April with new closings in Europe, H&M’s main market.

“As such, we see the potential for a strong sales recovery in the rest of the year, with the potential for a surprisingly high gross profit margin to rise, due to the weakening US dollar,” he said.

Market leader Inditex, owner of Zara, last week forecast a return to healthy sales as soon as the lockdown was lifted, as it reported a 70% drop in profit for the fiscal year to January. It is estimated that all the shops will open in mid-April.

H&M, whose full December-February earnings report is due on March 31, braced for losses in the quarter after the pandemic cut 2020 gains by 88%.

H&M shares rose 3% in early trading, up 32% year over year.

Reporting by Anna Ringstrom; editing by Niklas Pollard, Kirsten Donovan

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Trailers that may be found in Kingdom Hearts 4 Kingdom Hearts 3 | Instant News


It looks like Kingdom Hearts III There may be a trailer hidden in the game, which may tell the player the future direction of the series. Although the newly discovered information may be related to any other information, the content described seems to be consistent with our understanding of the future of information technology. Kingdom Hearts The entire franchise.

Found by user Blubbpaule on Reddit, it looks like the back of a Verum Rex box. This is a fictional game that appears in Kingdom Hearts III, Can provide some information about the direction of the series of works.For those who have done it all Kingdom Hearts III, And its accompanying remind DLCIn the end, Verum Rex played a very important role, because its world is the world Sora fell into.If it happens Kingdom Hearts: The Melody of Memory, The name of the world in which Sora is found is specifically called Quadratum.

The back of the Verum Rex game in “Kingdom Hearts” 3. Maybe you have some knowledge about the history of Quadratums? From r / KingdomHearts

As for how the boxed Verum Rex might please the future of the series, it seems to provide some details about Quadratum as a whole. The “King of Truth” is mentioned in the box, which seems to encourage players to “take back their hearts”. However, it is unclear whether this should be specifically targeted at Sora. It also mentioned something called “karma”, but I’m not sure what it will be. Now, Kingdom Hearts III Didn’t talk about Karma, but if it does look like the trailer we think it is, then we can see more mentions in future articles.

Regardless of the truth, it seems Square Enix When it came to the story of “Kingdom Hearts”, he played 4D chess again. When it comes to world building, this is a series that has attracted its fans for a long time, and assuming this tease is actually a tease, it’s not surprising to see this happen again.

The only downside is that at present, it seems that the next mainline “Kingdom Hearts” game may still be far away.Fortunately, if you haven’t played any of the items in the series, then almost the entire legend is Will land on PC later this month on March 30.

[H/T Game Rant]

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Try These 6 Travel & Leisure Stocks To Play A Vaccine-Driven Demand Rebound | Instant News


Business trips fell off a cliff during the pandemic, dragging air traffic with them. The Las Vegas Strip, usually teeming with conference attendees and vacationers, looks more like a quiet resort than a hive of 24/7 activity. No cruise ship – apart from a few latecomers hit by Covid – have only boarded or entered US ports since mid-March. Even domestic pleasure travel, a relatively bright spot in summer and fall, is facing a wave of Covid-19 cases and a new one ….



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The pandemic exposed the vulnerability of Italy’s ‘new poor’ | Instant News


With schools closed, so did Simone’s canteen work. The cleaning show also dried up. While the others returned to work when the lockdown ended, Simone remained silent.

“ There was a time when I only ate carrots, ” she recalls from her kitchen, which was decorated with colorful, luxurious characters shaped like vegetables.

For the first time in her life, Simone needs help preparing food. At the urging of a friend, she signed up for access to a delicacy shop operated by the Roman Catholic charity Caritas. Her eligibility covers her through January, and she hopes to be off the charity list by then “to make room for those who need it more.”

The charity serving more than 5 million people in the Archdiocese of Milan, Caritas Ambrosiana, said the pandemic for the first time exposed the depth of economic insecurity in Italy’s northern Lombardy region, which generates 20% of the country’s gross domestic product.

Simone, who has two grown children and a 10-year-old son at home, is a typical new poor person in Italy. These are the people who survived the 2008 financial crisis, evading the radar of the Italian welfare system by relying on informal gray market jobs and the help of friends and family.

But between Italy’s nearly total spring lockdown, the introduction of a partial lockdown as the virus spiked again in the fall and the continuing toll the pandemic has wrought on the Italian economy, the thin thread that allows people to work together has been cut.

Nowhere in Italy is more real than in Lombardy, where COVID-19 first exploded in Europe. Italian agricultural lobby Coldiretti estimates that the virus has created 300,000 new poor people, based on a survey of dozens of charity groups operating in the region.

Caritas Ambrosiana provided assistance to 9,000 people during the spring closure, 20% of whom reported that their financial situation “drastically” worsened during the 10-week closure. In October, nearly 700 families asked for food assistance for the first time.

Nationally, a third of all people who sought help from Caritas during the pandemic were first-time recipients, and contrary to the usual trend, most were Italians and not foreign residents.

More than 40 organizations provide meals every day in Milan, Italy’s financial capital. One of the largest, Pane Quotidiano, serves about 3,500 meals a day. Many of those in need have worked in restaurants and hotels, which have been specifically punished by coronavirus restrictions, or as domestic helpers.

“It’s even broader than we know, especially for a rich city like Milan,” said Caritas Ambrosiana spokesman Francesco Chiavarini. “This precarious work is gone. And we don’t know when or if it will be restored. “

Researchers at Milan’s Bocconi University said in a working paper for the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development that blue-collar workers without college degrees are paying the heaviest price for Italy’s virus curbs. Half reported a reduction in their wages, compared with only 20% of those on high incomes, and many did not have the luxury of working remotely.

“What we’re seeing is a substantial increase in inequality,” said Bocconi University researcher Vincenzo Galasso.

Those without solid employment contracts have been most exposed to a pandemic that has killed more than 68,000 people in Italy, Europe’s highest death toll.

Simone learned too late that the cafeteria contract described her as an occasional worker, meaning she had no basis for asking for government support to make up for lost income. Her clean-up work was not logged at all, and she found only two of the dozen she was holding onto before the pandemic.

Even when workers qualify for Italy’s public-private short-term layoffs scheme, the money arrives too late and is generally insufficient to cover the basic costs of the family, Chiavarini said. Basic coverage is 400 euros ($ 490) a month, but monthly rent in a city like Milan starts at around 600 euros ($ 735).

Food security emerges as a major problem as the pandemic enters winter.

Progetto Arca, which runs shelters and provides other social services in Milan, started operating food trucks last month after noticing homeless people who had been filling their bellies with restaurants and bars going hungry during partial closures in the fall when many companies closed.

And it’s not just the homeless who come in food trucks. One recent evening, a well-dressed man in a layered jacket and trousers waited by the side until the line disappeared. He identified himself as a lawyer but declined to comment further and asked not to be photographed as he picked up two hot meals and two bags of food for the next day, one for his friend waiting at home.

So far, a government moratorium on the eviction and firing of contract workers has helped limit what charity workers see as an emerging poverty crisis.

“When this is lifted, we will see the real price we have to pay for this pandemic,” said Chiavarini. “We celebrate Milan as the capital of innovation, but beneath this skyscraper we are very proud of, there is a hidden world where people live in very precarious conditions. “

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Follow AP coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

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Germany fined H&M 35 million euros for data protection breaches | Instant News


FILE PHOTOS: Photo of the H&M shop closed during the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Hamburg, Germany, 28 March 2020. REUTERS / Fabian Bimmer

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – Sweden’s H&M has been fined 35 million euros ($ 41 million) by German authorities for an internal data security breach at its customer service center in Nuremberg, the fashion retailer said on Thursday.

“The regional data protection authority in Hamburg has imposed an administrative fine of 35 million euros. The H&M Group acknowledged shortages in service centers and has taken decisive action to fix them, “he said in its June-August earnings report.

The German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported last year that the State Data Protection Commissioner in Hamburg had launched an investigation into H&M management illegally voicing workers about their private lives and keeping details.

According to the newspaper, H&M collects information about illnesses and other personal circumstances from employees at the center. H&M said in January the violations it found were unacceptable and were cooperating with the authorities.

($ 1 = 0.8518 euros)

(This story is corrected to June (not May), paragraph 2)

Reporting by Anna Ringstrom; editing by David Evans

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