Blame it all on COVID-19. The pandemic is crippling yet another major retailer. H&M has announced that they will be forced to close as many as 250 stores with the rising popularity of online shopping. American Eagle Outfitters and GameStop recently announced plans to close hundreds of their stores for the same reason.

H&M plans to start closing 250 stores as early as next year. Although the massive retailer boasts over 5,000 stores, they are having to shut down approximately 5% of its total stores. During the peak of the shutdown, over 80% of the H&M stores were temporarily closed.

The fast-fashion retailer claimed they had seen "strong and profitable" growth in online shopping however it was not enough to save several of their brick-and-mortar stores. September sales declined by 5% compared to the same month a year ago, although this may not seem like a big issue for many of us, however, this is a huge loss for businesses like H&M.

According to CNNBusiness.com "The coronavirus has accelerated the trend toward online shopping, which was already disrupting the retail industry and battering major chains before the pandemic hit.". Is this a trend with no end in sight? We sure hope not, this is our reminder to shop local and support the families who have a business that makes our community a great place to live in.