H&M reported a bigger than expected 3% year-on-year fall in sales at established stories in March. The forecast had been for sales to fall 0.2% from a year earlier with predictions ranging from a fall of 3% and a rise of 2%.
Wal-Mart surprised Wall Street on Thursday 9 April with a lower-than-expected rise in March sales while Target Corp posted a sales drop that was not as big as feared and said it is seeing "encouraging signs" in its business.
Fast Retailing reported 28.7 percent growth in operating profit for the six months ended in February, buoyed by robust sales at its Uniqlo casual clothing chain, and again lifted its operating profit forecast for the full year to August.
Fast Retailing, the Japanese owner of the brands Uniqlo, Comptoir des Cotonniers, Princesse Tam Tam and Theory and leading Japanese clothing group - plans to more than triple the number of its Uniqlo stores in Asia.