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More misery: H&M now faces online taunts after delivery system falters

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HENNES & MAURITZ AB has another headache: not being able to deliver online goods as fast as it wants.

The struggling Swedish fashion retailer is being inundated with complaints on its Facebook page from customers who haven’t received their products on time. One says that her baby will soon be “too big for the items” she ordered 26 days ago, while another worries that clothes ordered three weeks ago will “go out-of-fashion.”

And H&M acknowledges it has problems. Construction at its online distribution center in Boras, Sweden, is resulting in delays in Sweden and Norway, which account for about 7% of the company’s online and physical store sales, according to spokeswoman Katarina Gustafsson.

“We hope for our customers’ understanding and regret any inconvenience caused,” she said in an e-mail.

The delays may complicate the company’s efforts to boost sales. Operating profit fell to its lowest level in more than a decade in the first quarter as markdowns failed to reduce a pile-up of inventory.

The delivery problems hit at the heart of the company’s strategy shift to focus more on online sales and new store formats. The restructuring of the online distribution center aims to speed up delivery times from H&M’s current standard of five to seven days, Gustafsson said.

Customers are imploring H&M to be more transparent.

“Your website states 5-7 days for delivery… If the info is wrong, please change it so that customers know about the lengthy delivery time rather than misrepresentation of the delivery timeline,” one says. — Bloomberg