When it comes to quality retailing and products, Hennes and Mauritz AB (H&M) holds a prominent place in offering these to its customers. It is a Swedish cloth-retail company offering well-known designs for men. women and. kids. The brand operates in 74 countries with over 5,000 stores under the various company brands, with 126,000 full-time equivalent positions. In fact, it is the second-largest retail company following Zara. It holds a huge customer base and enjoys a strong brand position in the list of most famous clothing brands in the world. Besides clothing, it also offers solutions for home decoration with the most unique attributes. H&M has been creating clothing since 1947 and has a rich heritage and is known today for its trend-led collections and high-end fashion collaborations,
This article highlights the historical background of this brand, its unique characteristics, branding and marketing strategy, etc. The article will also provide various stats and the reasons for the success of this brand.
THE HISTORY OF H&M
H&M was founded in 1947. The company opened its first women’s store in Stockholm, Sweden by Erling Persson. Initially, in 1964, the company opened its first clothing shop for women. Later, it acquired Mauritz Widforss, a well-known hunting apparel retailer offering its products for men. This led to the inclusion of a menswear collection in the product range and the name change to Hennes & Mauritz.
In 1976, it expanded its operation in other European countries. It opened a retail store in London in 1976. The company also expanded its operations in Belgium, the Netherlands, Austria, Finland, Luxembourg, Germany and, France from 1977 to 2000.
The company started to expand outside Europe in 2000. It opened its first retail store in the US. It also expanded itself by opening new stores in other European markets and using online platforms to ensure an enhanced customer reach across its locations. This also allowed the company to enhance its customer base with the quickest and efficient mode of delivering its products to the customers.
It started offering home furnishings from 2008. This marked the enhanced diversification program of the company. It also allowed the company to place itself as a market leader in offering different solutions using the company’s brand image. Starting as an online catalog, the brand has established its stores globally for this purpose.
The company also expanded itself to the Middle East markets. It came up with concepts of:
The company has seen rapid expansion since 2008 and has opened its retail outlets across Asia, Europe, America, Australia, and Africa. It was named as the twenty-first most-valuable global brand in 2009 and 2010 by branding consultancy Interbrand.
UNIQUE ASPECT ABOUT H&M
It is an impressive fact about the company that it can introduce a new product to stores in just two weeks. This shows the level of command and streamlining of operations in the most exclusive way of this brand. This also shows the brand’s strategy to constantly challenge its competitors with a wide range of products and responding to the changing fashion trends.
The brand has also introduced home solutions for its customers by offering them a large selection of top quality interior design and decorations. These products can be found online or in-store. These include:
- Throw Pillows & Seat Cushions.
- Home Storage & Organizing.
- Bath & Shower.
- Dinnerware & Tableware.
- Cookware & Bakeware.
The company also allows its customers to drop off any used clothing at any store to be donated. This shows the brand’s vision of controlling waste and drive an environment-friendly initiative. Customers also get certain percentage discount and, the company offers these products as a second-hand product or if not viable, disposes them in an efficient way.