Swedish fashion retailer Hennes & Mauritz
AB or H&M has temporarily shuttered 95 of its stores in various
regions across the U.S. following violence and looting amid the
unrest related to the death of George Floyd.
Street protests, some peaceful and some violent, erupted across the
nation after Floyd was mercilessly killed by Minnesota police. Floyd died
on Memorial Day after he was pinned down by a white
Minneapolis police officer by kneeling on his neck for nearly nine
minutes. The 47-year old African American’s death has sparked outrage
and protests in Minneapolis and across the U.S.
The company joins the growing list of retailer that have temporarily
closed down the bulk of their stores in the U.S. that were hit by
violence and looting following clashes that erupted after police
action against unruly protestors. H&M stores in Philadelphia and
Boston were reportedly targeted.
In a statement, H&M CEO Helena Helmersson said, “We re-commit to
taking tangible steps to challenge racism and support our colleagues,
customers and communities. Symbolic support is not enough – we will
H&M Group also intends donate 500,000 dollars to US civil rights and law
firm the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, civil rights
advocacy group Color of Change, and the American Civil Liberties
Union (ACLU). These organizations fight for justice, economic rights
and empowerment of the Black Community.
H&M has around 600 stores in the U.S. and more than 5000 stores
around the world. Despite being headquartered in Sweden, the retailer
holds the most stores in the U.S., with the current count at about
Other retailers that closed down stores recently due to the arson and
violence include Target, Walmart, Apple and CVS. This comes at a time
when retailers were slowly reopening locations following the lockdown
due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Target, which is based in Minneapolis, said it is closing six stores
in various states until further notice citing the safety of employees
Walmart closed some stores due to damages, but further details are
not yet known. Technology giant Apple also has closed certain of its
stores, as per reports.
Drugstore chain CVS said it has closed many stores across 20 states
citing the damages, and intends to close more due to the developing
nature of the unrest.(DPA)