The start of the New Year has been particularly problematic for H&M, the Swedish retailer who once reigned supreme over the world of fast fashion. However, one insensitive image and sweater helped usher in a landslide of criticism and multiple public apologies on behalf of the company. What could effectively be called #hoodiegate2018 tarnished the company's illustrious veneer, as many vowed to avoid the retailer in support of human rights and moral reasoning. 

However, that may have just been the tip of the iceberg for H&M, as new reports are beginning to show a steep economic downturn for the once successful clothing giant. Hypebeast details how this discomforting decline is aided in part by a substantial drop in quarterly sales, alongside the company's share price having dipped just over nine percent, which is a nine-year low for the retailer. 

Throughout the past couple of months, H&M has lost a quarter of its market value, plummeting to a value of $29 billion USD (which is roughly a quarter of what Zara's parent company is now worth.) 

The company also notes how profits have declined almost 14 percent from November 2016-November 2017, as customers have begun to look elsewhere for affordable yet fashion-savvy threads. 

H&M has announced plans to combat this economic downturn and boost profits simultaneously. The company is looking to close 170 retail locations, while also launching a discount store, titled Afound, which is set to debut sometime this year.