(Source: Inside Retail Asia | 30 March 2017)
The next new H&M retail brand will be called Arket with first stores to open in London in late summer or early autumn this year.
H&M CEO Karl-Johan Persson said Arket will be priced above H&M. He described the concept as “simple, yet timeless and functional”.
Fast-fashion retailer H&M told Business of Fashion that Arket – the Swedish word for “sheet of paper” – would be positioned as a “modern-day market that will offer essential products for men, women, children and home”.
Perhaps the most surprising feature of the new store brand is that it will sell selected lines from non-H&M brands beside its own label.
Early in January, the company revealed that it would launch one or two new brands this year, joining Cos, Monki, Weekday and Cheap Monday.
“In 2017 we are looking forward to delivering strong collections and customer experiences and launching one or two new brands. This, combined with the ongoing improvements and our investments in the omnichannel offering, the supply chain and advanced analytics make us positive towards our opportunities for reaching our newly rephrased growth target, both in 2017 and going forward,” Persson said.
In an interview with BoF, Arket’s creative director Ulrika Bernhardtz described the brand’s DNA as “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 garments; it’s also how they are produced. Warmth is about being generous and personal.”
An Asian launch for Arket is not imminent, with BoF reporting it will be simultaneously launched in 18 European markets this year, starting with Brussels, Copenhagen and Munich. Some stores will feature a cafe serving “new Nordic” cuisine.