A global retail phenomenon—with more than 3,500 stores in 61 countries—H&M makes fashion accessible to all. The brand is fueled by a new business focus on delivering high quality at the best prices, while prioritizing sustainable practices. As a leader in product and process innovation, H&M has built a successful model for “fast fashion” through smarter forecasting and a responsive retail system that accounts for real-time buying preferences and regional tastes.
With increasing pressure from rivals such as Primark and Forever 21, H&M continues to stay ahead by meeting customers’ demands for a “total look.” Most recently, it launched one such extension, a beauty range featuring some 700 products with high-margin potential—a play to increase basket size and purchase frequency.
It is also continuing its renowned collaborations with exclusive, high-end designers, with legendary fashion house Balmain slated next. And on the advertising front, it’s tapping celebrities like Katy Perry, David Beckham, and Kevin Hart, all set to star in 2015 campaigns.
The brand is also responding to the louder demands for sustainable and responsible practices. Given the brand’s goal of new and diverse items hitting the shelves daily, it has responded to labor concerns—taking strides to meet the demands of fair trade andsustainability, and launching an initiative to create a fair wage policy for its suppliers around the world. In partnership with UNICEF, it also created Unicoin, the first currency system dedicated to doing good. The H&M Conscious Foundation champions real changes to create a better fashion future, focusing on areas such as sustainable materials, water, wages, labor conditions, and animal welfare, with a recent EUR €1 million grant announced for pioneering ideas to close the loop for fashion.
Through these initiatives, H&M continues to garner positive results. The company’s sales increased by 14 percent, and expansion plans include the opening of 400 new stores in 2015, predominantly in China and the U.S. To meet the increasing demand for online shopping via smartphones and tablets, it continues to invest in and operate a fully mobile-adapted and easily navigable digital store that’s currently available in 21 markets.
With a mysterious new brand reportedly in the works, it’s clear that H&M will continue to appeal to more diverse tastes and be a global hub for customers of every style.