THE SWEDISH FAST-FASHION GIANT LAUNCHES A NEW BRAND:
H&M has recently announced that they will be launching a new retail brand, called ARKET, a “modern-day market that will offer essential products for men, women, children and home”.
Arket will be selling its own products along with a selection of non-H&M brands, and its price range will be higher than that of the group’s standard H&M figures.
Ulrika Bernhardtz, Arket’s Creative Director, told Business of Fashion in an interview that “it’s relevant to a modern customer to bring different brands together – under one roof, under one channel”. The brand’s ethos revolves around “timeless, crisp, quality and warmth”.
Based on extensive market research, the creatives behind Arket identified a broad customer base that is always looking for classic products presented in a simple yet inspiring setting, setting a new standard for the synergy between fashion design and the interior design of the store in which it’s presented.
The first Arket store will open on Regent Street in London in August or September, with an official date yet to be confirmed. “We are starting in London as a global city to reach the world,” said Lars Axxelson, Managing Director of Arket.
The stores will also offer a café concept with “new Nordic” cuisine focused on healthy food, further offering its support to today’s customer – the busy individual who must integrate healthy eating and stylishly simple designs into day-to-day life.
This new brand comes at a time of expansion for the world’s second largest clothing retailer, which is set to open 430 stores by April 2017, some in new markets such as Kazakhstan, Colombia, Iceland, Vietnam and Georgia. It’s also part of a move to reclaim its lost market share in the fashion industry, by expanding H&M’s customer reach and improving online services.
Arket will be thus joining H&M’s existing brand portfolio, alongside & Other Stories, Cheap Monday, COS, Monki and Weekday, and the flagship brand. While sales have dropped in many key European markets and the US, H&M’s first quarter also fell short of its annual target – nevertheless, here’s to hoping that Arket will achieve its goal of providing great new styles for busy but discerning shoppers out there.
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