The logo of Swedish fashion label H&M is seen outside a store in Vienna, Austria, October 1, 2016.    REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger - D1AEUFJYNGAA

H&M is turning to big data to tailor the clothes it offers in each of its stores

$4 billion

After its 10th straight quarter of declining same-store sales, H&M is trying on something new: Instead of stocking the same items in stores all over the world, it will rely on algorithms to better align supply and demand on a store-by-store basis.

Published   |  Photo by Reuters/Leonhard Foeger
The logo of Swedish fashion label H&M is seen outside a store in Vienna, Austria, October 1, 2016.    REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger - D1AEUFJYNGAA
$4 billion

The fast-fashion giant has repeatedly slashed prices to clear out $4 billion of unsold inventory, and will now use data from store receipts, returns, and loyalty-card accounts to reduce markdowns.

The logo of Swedish fashion label H&M is seen outside a store in Vienna, Austria, October 1, 2016.    REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger - D1AEUFJYNGAA
$4 billion

But data alone can’t always guarantee success—H&M’s algorithms failed to factor in Christmas and reportedly advised selling reindeer-printed sweaters in January.

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