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H&M closes all 49 stores in Australia

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Swedish retailer H&M have indefinitely closed all 49 Australian stores due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The closures have left 1300 employees without a job in Australia’s first recession in 30 years.

The retailer also extended its refund and exchange policy to 100 days for items bought from March 18 2020.

In a statement released last week, a spokesperson said: ‘Right now, we’re facing a situation that no one could prepare for,

‘We are continuously following the advice of local authorities and will keep you informed of any health and safety of our customers and colleagues remains our top priority.

‘As we navigate these uncertain times, supporting our team members is of the utmost importance.

H&M, or Hennes & Mauritz, a high street staple in the UK, entered the Australian market in 2014.

H&M have joined a growing list of stores that have closed temporarily due to the coronavirus pandemic including Cotton On, Mecca, General Pants, Smiggle, Just Cuts, Michael Hill and Peter Alexander.

The pandemic has also caused swimwear label Tiger Lilly and stationery chain Kikki K to enter voluntary administration.

The government has announced measures to try to protect Australian business from further damage. Including a temporary safe harbour from Insolvent Trading laws,  protections for tenants from being evicted by landlords, and a delay on a debtors ability to wind up a creditor through the courts. Our advice to a director concerned about the insolvency of their company is to wait to see how effective these protections are, or contact a competent liquidator for advice.

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