H&M released their three-month financial report yesterday, along with the announcement that they would be adding a new brand to their current portfolio, which consists of COS, & Other Stories and Monki (more on these in my next Brand Watch post).
The decision to launch this new brand comes about as H&M attempt to combat falling shares and slowing sales growth. Although the company has managed to mitigate the impact of falling sales to an extent by reigning in control of their costs it’s still necessary for them to take steps to increase sales. As changes in consumer buying behaviour make the retail fashion industry an increasingly tough one to operate in, retailers are having to look to new opportunities and ways of combating this in order to remain profitable, such as this diversification approach H&M are taking.
The brand will offer slightly higher priced clothing for men, women and children, along with a selection of homewares (which I’m particularly excited about, am I getting old?). Speaking to Business of Fashion, about the new brand, which will also sell a range of non-Arket products in-stores, creative director Ulrika Bernhardtz has said
“We really believe it’s relevant to a modern customer to bring different brands together – under one roof, under one channel – and to make that choice for them and also make it more convenient. the brand DNA is timeless, crisp, quality and warmth. Timeless is style beyond trend. And crisp is the counterpart to that: to be always relevant modern and fresh. Quality is not only the feel of the garments; it’s also how they are produced. Warmth is about being genuine and personal.”
Arket will launch in the second half of the year, with it’s flagship store opening alongside H&M and COS on Regent Street in London – hopefully followed soon after by a Dublin store!!