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H&M Shutters Nearly 100 Stores Over Protests

Just as it started reopening retail locations across the country, H&M has boarded some of them back up as it braces from protests that have hit some retailers hard.

“We have closed 95 stores temporarily due to the protests,” Reuters reported an H&M spokesperson as saying. It is early yet to tell how soon the fast-fashion purveyor will be able to reopen those stores.

All over the country, and in major cities around the world, protestors are fighting for racial equality and the end to unjust killings at the hands of police or other wrongly empowered citizens. In some cases, the protests have devolved to looting, leaving retailers left to sweep up shards of glass in the mornings after, and put new plans in place for moving forward in this crisis within a crisis that the world is facing.

In a statement Monday, H&M said, “We stand with and support the black community—today, every day and everywhere to end racism in all forms. The recent killings of more members of the black community in the US leave us devastated and heartbroken. Their lives, and the lives of all black people taken by violence, mattered.”

The retailer said it has acknowledged its own past mistakes with regard to race relations and has pledged to take action on the issue in a bigger way going forward.

That first step came in the form of a pledge to donate $500,000 to the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, Color of Change and the ACLU, all organizations that fight for justice and economic rights for the black community. H&M also said it will “assemble a task force of black leaders” to help advise the company moving forward.