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H & M Hennes & Mauritz AB (operating as H&M), is a Swedishmarker clothing company, known for its fast fashion clothing offerings for women, men, teenagers and children. H&M has more than 1,800 stores in 34 different countries and employ over 73,000 people.

History

The company was established in Västerås, Sweden, in 1947 by Erling Persson though at the time it only sold women's clothing and was called Hennes, Swedish for "hers." In 1968, Persson acquired the premises and inventory of a Stockholmmarker hunting equipment store named Mauritz Widforss. Included in the inventory was a supply of men's clothing, prompting Persson to expand into menswear. Accordingly, he renamed the store Hennes & Mauritz, later abbreviated to H&M. Erling's son Stefan became CEO in 1990 and Chairman of the Board in 1998. Today the majority of H&M's clothing is manufactured in Turkey and Bangladesh.

H&M worldwide

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H&M's first store abroad was opened in Norwaymarker. Then from 1964 onwards, H&M embarked upon a major expansion programme many further stores in Europe, including Portugalmarker, the UKmarker, Denmarkmarker, Switzerlandmarker and Germanymarker. In the 1990s, the first stores opened in Finlandmarker, Francemarker, Belgiummarker, Austriamarker, Spainmarker and the Netherlandsmarker. H&M has continued to expand its business and today H&M has an extensive network throughout much of Europe.

H&M opened its first USmarker store in New Yorkmarker on 5th Avenue and 51st Street in March 2000. There are now 9 additional stores in Manhattan alone. As of January 2009, H&M has at least 169 individual stores in the United States. H&M opened its first Canadianmarker store in March 2004. There are currently 48 stores in Canadamarker, in Quebecmarker, Ontariomarker, Albertamarker, New Brunswickmarker, Nova Scotiamarker and British Columbiamarker.

H&M opened its first Asian store (also H&M's first franchise) in Dubaimarker in 2006. Kuwaitmarker was then followed by Dubaimarker and opened at Salmiya at first. A store will open in Lebanonmarker on October 2009 at ABC Achrafiehmarker,also two stores will be opened in Tel Avivmarker and Jerusalemmarker in spring 2010.H&M expanded into East Asia in March 2007, with its first store opening in Central Hong Kongmarker on March 10, 2007. Kylie Minogue opened the first store in East Asia, where she also exclusively launched her range of swimwear, "H&M loves Kylie". First store was opened in mainland Chinamarker in 2007. The first Japanesemarker store was opened in Ginzamarker on September 13, 2008, while a second store was opened in Harajuku in November 2008. Another store was opened in the Shibuya shopping district on September 19, 2009. H&M has signed an agreement to open its first store in South Korea. The store will be located in the best business location in Myungdong in Seoul and is planned to open during the spring of 2010.

On March 13, 2009 H&M launched their first shop in Russiamarker in "Metropolis" mall in Moscowmarker, which is situated near subway station Voykovskayamarker. And already in March 20, 2009 launched second shop in "MEGA" mall in Khimkimarker. On October 22, 2009 third H&M store opened it's door in "MEGA" mall in Belaya Dacha. On 18th of October, 2009 was launched a shop in Europe's largest shopping centre "Golden Babylon" in Rostokino.

H & M also has plans to expand into South America with a focus on Brazilmarker, though a specific date was not disclosed.

Although there are no H&M stores in Australia, in April 2007, pop superstar Kylie Minogue teamed up with H&M to introduce a swimwear line called, “H&M loves Kylie”, featuring a theme of Australia. “When we think of Australia and glamour, we think Kylie, who is such a stylish person,” H&M design head Margareta van den Bosch said in a statement.

Collaborations

In November 2004, selected H&M stores offered an exclusive collection by fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld. The press reported large crowds and that the initial inventories in the larger cities were sold out within an hour, although the clothes were still available in less fashion-sensitive areas until the company redistributed them to meet with demand.In November 2005, the chain launched a collection by Stella McCartney and, in November 2006, by avant-garde Dutch designers Viktor & Rolf.H&M launched another collaboration with Madonna in March 2007, designed by the popstar. In June 2007 the company worked with game developers Maxis to create a stuff pack for the latter's The Sims 2 computer game, H&M Fashion StuffIn November 2007, the chain launched a collection by Italian designer Roberto Cavalli. It was reported that the clothing sold out very quickly. Also in 2007, another design with Kylie Minogue was launched in Shanghai, China. In the fall of 2008 the Japanese company Comme des Garçons was selected as guest designer. For spring and summer 2009, the British designer Matthew Williamson created 2 exclusive ranges for H&M. The first being a collection of women's clothes released in selected stores. The second collecting saw Williamson branch into menswear for the first time. The 2nd collection also featured swimwear for men and women and was available in every H&M store worldwide.From November 14 H&M released a limited edition collection with Jimmy Choo featuring shoes and handbags, ranging from £30 to £170 including a range of mens shoes. The collection also included clothing designed by Choo for the first time, many garments made from suede and leather, and was available in 200 stores worldwide including London's Oxford Circus store. Sonia Rytkel is the latest guest designer to collaborate with H&M, after having designed a ladies knitwear and lingerie range to be released in selected H&M stores on December 5th 2009.

Brand

H&M has the 66th most recognized brand in the world, worth $11 billion.

The full company name Hennes & Mauritz was rebranded to H&M to simplify worldwide perception of the brand.

The value of the brand is reinforced by ownership of two letter domain hm.com. The domain was registered in the early 1990s, but data on the first registration is lost. In 1998 Hennes & Mauritz was able to buy the domain hm.com from a company called A1in a non-published domain transaction. Today Hennes & Mauritz General is one of the few corporations worldwide to own a two letter domain name. However the brand is not reflected by the HMB Stockholm Stock Exchange ticker symbol.

Corporate objective

H&M describes its mission as “Fashion and quality at the best price”. H&M's goals for 2008 have been to intensify the sales in the existing stores, as well as to increase the number of new stores by 10% to 15% per year. In the year 2007 193 new stores opened its doors and 16 closed. Expansion and maintaining of financial stability are H&M's strategic goals. In the last 5 years the revenues raised by 73%, including value-added tax and the earnings per share increased by 139%.

COS

COS (Collection of Style) is a fashion concept started by H&M with a fashion show at the Royal Academy of Artsmarker in Londonmarker and the opening of a signature COS store on Regent Streetmarker on 16 March 2007. COS begins where H&M ends: featuring mainly subtle, monochrome colors, the minimalist, clean-cut pieces in the collections for men and women are created with a focus on "quality in terms of the fabrics, fit and finish", merging "high fashion attributes [...] with ground level pricing", and thus "providing the look of Jil Sander for less". The collections range from fundamental basics to sophisticated cocktail dresses and sleek mens' suits. COS's target group is the "mid-market consumer" who either cannot be reached with H&M products or wants to trade up. COS merchandise is designed by Rebekka Bay (women's) and Michael Kristensen (men's), and is manufactured in Europe (80%) and Asia (20%). Prices range above those for comparable items in the H&M mainline stores, but supposedly below comparable ready-to-wear collection clothing. A men's dress shirt retails at about €50,00, a suit at or below €350,00.As of spring 2008, signature COS stores - the exclusive points of sale for COS collection items - can be found in Antwerpmarker, Barcelonamarker, Brusselsmarker, Copenhagenmarker, Parismarker, Bordeauxmarker, Toulousemarker, Den Haagmarker, Berlinmarker (3x), Cologne, Düsseldorfmarker, Hamburgmarker, Munichmarker, Stuttgartmarker and Londonmarker (3x). There are no COS outlets outside Europe, yet. COS stores are designed by interior architect William Russell, a British Pentagram partner.

Home Fashions

In a press release, H&M announced that it would begin selling Home Fashions focused on textiles similar to their clothing brands. The pieces in the collection are available for every room of the house, with a economic pricepoint, much like the other Swedish company, IKEA. As of 2009, it is distributed exclusively by H&M's internet catalog, so it is only available in countries where H&M is sold online, such as Swedenmarker, Finlandmarker, and Germanymarker. Retail prices are moderate, with a bed set at about €49.90, and towels around €15.90.

See also



References

  1. H&M to replace cinema in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem malls
  2. Carter Associates
  3. First store in South Korea
  4. Designplagg tog slut på en timme
  5. H&M för snobbigt för Lagerfeld
  6. H&M - Press
  7. Australian singer Kylie Minogue chosen for H&M beachwear campaign - EnjoyFashion
  8. Case Studies on Companies that own a Two Letter Domain
  9. Historic Archive of the very first HM.com Website
  10. List of Large Companies that own a Two Letter Domain
  11. H&M: COS - Collection of Style
  12. Chain reaction: H&M, The Times, May 2, 2008
  13. BBC News: H&M heads back to basics
  14. H&M: A new chain of stores - COS


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