Last week, reports of protests inside and outside H&M stores in South Africa emerged following the company's highly controversial ad. Now, The New York Times reports that H&M has temporarily closed some of its outlets across the country.

Videos and photos on social media showed people protesting by destroying mannequins and racks of clothing inside various stores, as well as large groups protesting in malls across several cities.

The Swedish fast-fashion giant has since issued an apology, however, it has seemingly failed to quell the outrage.

Demonstrations were reported at shopping centers in Cape Town and Pretoria, as well as at several locations in and around Johannesburg. In an emailed statement to The New York Times, H&M confirmed that it would be closing its stores “out of concern for the safety of our employees and customers.”

Social media was divided when it came to the protests, with some praising them and others arguing that the destruction was counterproductive and went against the discussions that should be happening in the wake of the ad.

To read more about the demonstrations, head over to The New York Times for the full report. Find H&M's apology below.

In further news on the subject, the mother of the child that appeared in the H&M ad responded to the criticism, which you can read about here.

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