H&M’s Going After Every U.S. Consumer This Year

The Swedish retailer opened 40 Stateside stores in 2012—which begs the question, hasn’t their aggressive push for U.S. markets already started? Not according to Daniel Kulle, U.S. president of H&M, “We have 269 stores in U.S., but with more than 314 million people in the country, we haven’t exposed everyone to H&M yet.” Watch out, Americans. The wear-them-once basics are coming for each and every one of you.

With a variety of new launches and brand re-inventions, H&M plans to surpass 2012 this year. WWD reports:

“This is just the beginning,” Kulle said Thursday, revealing 10 new locations, including the Roosevelt Collection in Chicago; Union Station and The Shops at Georgetown Park in Washington; the French Quarter in New Orleans; City Place in West Palm Beach, Fla., and the Waikiki Business Plaza in Honolulu, one of the brand’s biggest new markets to date.

Kulle declined to project the ultimate number of H&M stores that could populate the U.S. but said, “The [store count] of major apparel tenants in the U.S. is one benchmark for the potential.” For example, Forever 21 operates close to 500 stores, and Express, 600 units.

The retailer is also expanding into our homes in new ways, with a highly anticipated (and delayed) e-commerce launch, as well as catalogue delivery that aims to reach every segment of their consumer base individually. “We see catalogues as part of marketing and a way to inform and excite customers about H&M. They’ll see our different concepts for men, ladies, babies and teens,” Kulle said. A goal they also hope to attain by opening H&M stores within walking distance of one-another, with distinct offerings made to feel “worlds apart.”

The store at 589 Fifth Avenue and 48th Street [in New York], which will be H&M’s largest in the world with 57,000 square feet of space, will be elegant and sleek, “more like a high-street store,” Kulle said. The 4 Times Square store will have a “full-on party atmosphere.” The 42,500-square-foot unit will have LED signage measuring 70 by 70 feet at the top of the skyscraper, massive signage on the store’s exterior, billboards and interactive elements inside.

Another launch still, H&M will debut a home collection in three stores this year — in New York, Boston and New Orleans. We can’t help but think enacting all these big moves at once might land them among brands like coffee giant Starbucks—which, after having expanded too much too fast, had to scale back significantly to keep earnings in the green. What do you think? Do we need potentially 600 more H&Ms around the country?


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