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Hennes & Mauritz is a Swedish clothing factory. Erling Persson founded the company in 1947. During a trip in America, the large amount companies selling huge stocks of clothing on low prices impressed Persson. When arrived back in Sweden Persson opened his first store Hennes. Hennes means hers in Swedish. In 1960 Persson bought Mauritz Widforss, hunting, outdoor and mens-clothingstore. Both hunting- and outdoor-departments were cut up and the company name changed to Hennes & Mauritz
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Roberto Cavalli teams up with H&M
Italian glamour designer Roberto Cavalli is the next big name in fashion to collaborate with Swedish fashion retailer H&M. Like Karl Lagerfeld, Stella McCartney and Viktor & Rolf before him, he will create a one-off collection for the chain, which will hit approximately 200 select H&M stores worldwide on 8 November of this year. The collection will only be available for a limited amount of time.
“Roberto Cavalli has created a world of his own, iconic and full of fantasy, when it comes to colours, prints, and style,” said H&M head designer Margareta van den Bosch. “There is no place for shyness and no possibility of ending up with a mainstream wardrobe of everyday basics. The Roberto Cavalli collections represent an exuberant, successful lifestyle.”
The collection will consist of 20 pieces of menswear and 25 pieces of womenswear, and will also including lingerie and matching accessories. Knowing Cavalli's jet set style, this collection is bound to be a big departure from what we have come to expect from the celebrity designers H&M has chosen in the past. Their tastes were muted and structured, whereas Cavalli – who dresses the likes of Madonna, Beyoncé, Victoria Beckham, Jennifer Lopez and Lenny Kravitz – tends to be more flamboyant in his use of colours, prints and silhouettes.
Cavalli has created a bold and glamorous realm of fashion with his signature Roberto Cavalli line, his Just Cavalli range for a young audience, the diffusion collection Class Cavalli, and his Angels and Devils line for boys and girls. He has further expanded his empire with beachwear, lingerie, shoes, eyewear, watches and perfumes, home goods, wine and vodka, and has even redesigned the bunny costume for Hugh Hefner's Playboy.
“As the first Italian designer in the history of H&M, I enthusiastically welcomed this invitation, proud to bring the lively and positive spirit of my work to a new audience, who will be able to see and interpret my style in an individual way. I love freedom and challenges: breaking down barriers, experimenting in different directions. H&M is all this for me. I will add a dash of festivity and dreams,” Cavalli said in a statement.
20 June 2007
H&M goes virtual
Swedish fashion chain Hennes & Mauritz has joined forces with Electronic Arts (EA) to create a virtual world of fashion. EA is the creator of the popular computer game The Sims, and together with H&M has created The Sims 2 H&M Fashion Stuff Pack. Available through EA online and in stores later this month, the stuff pack contains virtual replicas of clothing from the fashion chain's summer collection. Also included are all the items you might need to create your own H&M store: mannequins, clothing racks, changing rooms, cash registers and more.
The Sims 2 H&M Fashion Runway Showcase will launch at the same time. The showcase invites players of the game to create outfits for six different design themes. The public will vote online for the top twelve entries each week, which will be featured in the Fashion Runway Showcase. The winner's creation will subsequently be put into production and will be sold in H&M stores.
“We are very excited that H&M is the first brand to enter The Sims world in this way. For us, the stuff pack is a fun opportunity to meet our customers in a new and exciting environment and to show parts of our summer collection,” H&M's Head of Marketing Jörgen Andersson said.
6 June 2007
H&M report growth
H&M on Tuesday announced its sales results, reporting a 21% growth from last year. Sales in local currencies increased 21%, including VAT, over the prior year period. Comparable stores sales improved to 8% from 1% in the year-ago period.
The number of stores was 1,407 on April 30, 2007, compared to 1,239 in the preceding year period. The Swedish retailer has scheduled to release its sales development in the month of May together with the Half-Year Report on June 20, 2007.
In March 2007, the company's sales rose 29% from the preceding year period, while its comparable store sales improved to 17%, compared to 8% decline in the previous year period. Sales for February 2007 were up 15% over the year-ago. Comparable store sales rose to 5% from 2% in the prior year period. Hennes & Mauritz said that its sales increased by 16% for the January 2007, while its comparable store sales remained flat at 5%.
16 May 2007
Gisele in talks with H&M
Gisele Bundchen 's end of contract with Victoria's Secret has only just been announced, and already the supermodel is reportedly in negotiations with H&M. A source revealed that the Brazilian supermodel is developing a lingerie line the label, and will start on it as soon as she stops working for Victoria's Secret. The insider revealed that though Bundchen had been in talks for her own line with H&M for some time now, her obligations to Victoria's Secret had been holding her back.
"Gisele has been in talks with H&M for a long time, but for legal issues she has to wait for her Victoria's Secret contract to end to start the project," the New York Post quoted the source, as saying. Bundchen quit as the lingerie line's 'Angel' earlier this month after the company refused to raise her annual salary from 5 million dollars.
8 May 2007
Madonna not calling for H&M
Hennes & Mauritz clothing stores may have broken local laws when they telephoned customers using the computerised voice of Madonna, the designer of its new M by Madonna range. Hundreds of Hennes & Mauritz customers have answered their telephones to the greeting of 'Hi, it's Madonna', only to find that it wasn't Madonna calling but a computer simulation of the pop star's voice touting her new clothing line for the chain. Many shoppers were unhappy to receive calls to their personal telephones featuring a computerised voice advertisement from the store. 'You answer the phone, hear the message and then it hangs up,' 19 year-old Mia Jensen told 24timer newspaper.
'I didn't care for it and I felt really stupid when I got it,' Jensen said, adding she did not give the store permission to call her. H&M disagreed and say Jensen, as a member of the store's customer club, received an SMS asking whether she wanted to take part in a contest. By agreeing to take part, the store indicated that customers also agreed to receive information via their mobile telephones. But receiving information is not the same as being called by a computer, said Morten Weigand, attorney with the consumer ombudsman's office of the National Consumer Agency, which plans to take up the case. 'The company must clearly state what form of communication the customer has agreed to accept per the terms,' Weigand said.
5 April 2007
Madonna H&M launch off to lukewarm start
Madonna's collection for H&M received a lukewarm reception with shoppers on Thursday. Perhaps H&M consumers feel they've ‘seen it all before', to quote a recent Madonna lyric, or perhaps its due to the never-ending celebrity collaborations with high street conglomerates that one would need to invest in a plethora of wardrobes to keep up with the celebrity craze.
So despite a high-profile television and newspaper advertising campaign featuring the singer modelling items from her M by Madonna range, and celebrity admirers such as Jean Paul Gaultier saying they were keen to get hold of her designs, just 50 or so fans were waiting outside H&M's flagship store on London's Oxford Street as it opened yesterday morning for the official launch of the collection. This unlike the queues and demand shoppers had for Stella McCartney or Karl Lagerfeld, where the collections sold out within minutes.
Most of those in the queue were Madonna fans keen to snap up any merchandise associated with the star, rather than fashionistas wanting to emulate her style. Lauretta Roberts, editor of fashion industry magazine Drapers, said the reason Madonna's range had not caused as much of a stir as other celebrity collections was down to the fact that she was the wrong icon for H&M. 'Madonna is still an icon to many people, but her fan base would be largely made up of people in their 30s and above, which is not really a core H&M customer in the UK. And the styling of this collection, with its pencil skirts and cinched-in waists, is pretty grown-up too.
A highlight of the collection includes a white trench coat £59.99?Trench coats are one of this season's key trends, with the light colour making it perfect for spring. However, the fact that it's been so widely publicised, having featured in much of the advertising for the M by Madonna range, means it is highly recognizable.
23 March 2007
H&M launch Cos
The much-hyped H&M concept COS (Collection of Style) finally has opened in London's Regent Street. The brand is dubbed at high-end high street, rather than the fast fashion H&M is renowned for. COS intends to merge high-fashion attributes and a focus on quality of fabrics, finish and fit with the ground-level pricing policy that H&M is known for.
The company's head of design Margareta van den Bosch told WGSN: "There was a real gap in the market for this product, we wanted to bring a new brand to the high street with a focus on design flair but at attainable prices for everyone. It's a very different offer to H&M so there's no obvious connection between the stores."
COS made its introduction this week with a fashion show in London. Key pieces included a white shirt, an empire-line pin-tucked cotton dress, cropped jackets, wrapped chino-style skirts, a leather blouson jacket, easy pencil skirts and layered polo shirts. A neutral palette of white, black, grey, stone, navy and cream presented a clear message about the brand's design ethos. Highlights also included a chic black sack dress with a bold contrast metal zipper running down the back and a butter soft fudge leather bomber jacket with Western stitch detail
A further five stores will open in Germany (Hamburg, Berlin, Munich, Stuttgart, Düsseldorf) and one each in Brussels and The Hague by the end of the month. A total of eight to 10 stores will be open by year-end.
20 March 2007
H&M debuts home textiles
Swedish apparel retailer Hennes & Mauritz will begin selling home textiles in the second half this year online and in catalogs throughout northern Europe, and online in Germany and Austria, according to Home Textiles Today.com, an online fashion and business source for the home and textiles industry.
In the beginning the company will sell bed, bath and window coverings, including comforters, sheets, towels and accessories, as H&M sees a big demand for these products among customers. The company expects a substantial expansion following the debut.
29 January 2007
H&M announce profits and new lines
H&M have reported high than expected profits stating sales increased at the end of the year. Net profits rose 18% to £276m in the three months to 30 November from £232m a year ago. December sales were up 16% from 2005 levels, and the company said it planned to open 170 new stores this year. H&M has been broadening its appeal by developing limited editions of clothes by celebrities including Madonna, and designers such as Stella McCartney, Karl Lagerfeld, and last autumn's pairing up with duo Viktor & Rolf.
The chain, which opened 60 years ago and made a name for itself by selling low-cost garments, also plans to start a high-end range and launch home textiles in the autumn, called Cos, or Collection of Style. Cos is to open in Regent Street in March, with a press campaign headed by Karla Otto. H&M further reported it was launch a home textile range, including bedding, curtains, towels and cushions, via online and catalogue sales. Analysts said the move was a good way to boost sales, and H&M shares rose by more than 5% on the earnings news.
26 January 2007
H&M react to market changes
H&M may crowned the king of "fast fashion," but changes in certain markets means the group is being pushed into the slow lane by competitors such as Spain's Zara. With competition hot on its heels H&M may face tough trading in markets such as Germany, where value-added tax rose to 19% on January 1st. Germany currently accounts for more than a quarter of H&M's global sales. Analysts are uncertain how German consumers will react, but H&M is already experiencing a slowdown in trading. Sales in Germany fell by 4% in 2006 as more competitors moved in on H&M's fast fashion territory. And prices are likely to go up due to the VAT change, further affecting demand. Some market watchers say H&M can prosper in Germany if it sticks to its core strategy of providing hip clothing coveted by young people and quickly reacting to trends it sees elsewhere.
While rivals may be closing in, H&M has a canny way of entering new markets and reacting to change.? Expansion in Asia will make up for potential troubles in in the European market, hence the company is aggressively expanding elsewhere. The company is planning to open stores in China and Hong Kong this year and in Tokyo in fall, 2008. "Japan is an exciting market for H&M, with fashion-conscious consumers with great spending power," Chief Executive Rolf Eriksen said in a statement. "We see great opportunities for expansion in this part of the world."
The company is also moving upscale. It is opening a new chain of stores with higher-end offerings this spring. And it is teaming up with pop singer Madonna to create a new range of clothing and accessories, called "M by Madonna," to be available in all its stores this spring. Analysts remain cautious; most have had neutral recommendations on H&M stock for months. But the company's share price has been inching up, from $41.68 in early October to $51.28 on Jan. 2. Sales for the first nine months of 2006 rose 11% to $7.2 billion.
5 January 2007
Madonna back with H&M
Shortly after Madonna announced she is launching a childrenswear line alongside The English Roses stories, H&M confirmed they will be collaborating with the popstar a second time. The new collection, simply called ‘M by Madonna' will see Madonna's timeless yet forward sense of fashion translated by the Swedish retailers' head of design, Margareta van den Bosch. The collection will be available in stores around the world from March.
In a statement to the Associated Press Madonna said: "I've made no secret of my love for fashion and trends," Madonna said in a statement. "Working with Margareta and H&M was an exciting and new creative challenge for me. I'm really happy with the results and look forward to wearing `M by Madonna' along with the rest of the world." For those who missed the Madonna tracksuit earlier this year, now have a second chance to own a design from the 48-year old singer. Happy queuing we say!
8 December 2006
H&M September underlying sales flat
Swedish fast fashion retailer Hennes & Mauritz has reported a nine percent rise in sales for September. However, same-store sales remained unchanged. In August, sales gained 15 percent, with same-store sales up 5 percent. The company does not report actual sales figures, but expresses developments in terms of percentages. The results fell below analysts' expectations of a 14 rise in total sales and a 3.9 percent gain in same-store sales. Last month, H&M managing director Rolf Eriksen hinted that the fourth quarter might deliver results for an improved gross margin. Company executives could not be reached for comment.
Currently, H&M operated 1,300 stores, up from 1,160 in September last year. October sales figures will be released on 15 November.
16 October 2006
H&M Q3 profit up 13 percent
Hennes & Mauritz has posted sales for the third quarter of SEK 16.75 billion (£1.22 billion), a rise of 11 percent. Profit was up 13 percent to SEK 3.76 billion, thanks to cheaper sourcing in Asia and better-than-expected August sales. “The third quarter developed well,” H&M's head of investor relations, Nils Vinge, said during a conference call. Meanwhile, group sales for the first nine months gained 13 percent to SEK 48.89 million, while profits rose 12 percent to SEK 10.37 billion.
The fast fashion group is performing in line with the market and outperforming analysts' expectations. Last week Inditex, H&M's Spanish competitor and owner of the successful Zara chain, reported profit gains for its second quarter, signalling a prosperous retail environment for purveyors of fast fashion. H&M performed strongly in most markets, with the exception of Germany and Austria . Germany also proved to be a tough market for Inditex. H&M does plan to expand further in Germany by opening more stores there and introducing online shopping in Germany and Austria from next fall. The company's first online store opened in the Netherlands last months and has performed beyond expectations, said Vinge. Sales in the US , where the chain opened nine new stores during the quarter, increased 23 percent.
According to Vinge, sales in August increased 15 percent as the brand's tracksuits – which were co-designed by Madonna – sold successfully. This is contrary to earlier news reports that the tracksuits were not well-received. He said the “Madonna collaboration was widely regarded”, adding that August like-for-like sales grew 5 percent.
H&M is planning to open approximately 10 shops to house its high fashion brand next spring. Vinge declined to give details but said that the company had signed leases for the first stores in the UK , Germany , Belgium and the Netherlands . He added that the stores would generally encompass 5,000 square feet and would “mix basics with high fashion”. The company is also planning to open 80 new stores worldwide in the fourth quarter. These will mostly be in the US , Canada , the UK and Germany .
28 September 2006
H&M Irish stores set for profit
H&M, the Swedish fashion giant, has declared that its Irish stores will be profitable by the end of this year. The group has also disclosed an €8 million investment to expand in the Irish market.The chain, which has opened five stores since entering the market last year, plans to develop further outlets though it will not say how many are planned or where they will be sited.H&M is alone among international retailers operating in Ireland in that it publishes quarterly sales figures. But it was only with the filing this month of maiden accounts that the chain disclosed its profit performance and projection for the business.
The accounts - for a company called H&M Hennes & Mauritz (Ireland) - show that the chain's shops had sales of €12.36 million in period from the opening of its first store at the Dundrum Town Centre in March 2005 to the end of November last. The turnover figure was net of value added tax. The chain followed that initial opening in Ireland with new stores at the Liffey Valley centre and Mary Street in Dublin and in Limerick, all of which opened last autumn. A store at the the Whitewater Centre in Newbridge, Co Kildare, opened earlier this year.
The chain had gross profits of €7.62 million in first 10 months here. But with net operating expenses of €8.91 million reflected the cost of setting up the stores, it recorded an overall operating loss of €1.28 million. The pretax loss was €1.37 million. The quarterly financial reports of the Irish operation's parent company in the periods since then show that the business is growing rapidly. The most recent filing, for example, shows that turnover rose to €9.1 million in the three months to May from €7.7 million in the previous three-month period.
In notes on the accounts for the Irish unit, the directors of the business said the results for the period were in line with their expectations. "At November 30th 2005, the company was in a net liabilities position. A loan of €8 million was received from the parent company to finance the purchase of fixed assets. It is management's expectation that the Irish operation will become profitable by the end of 2006," the report said. "The directors also aim to continue the expansion of new stores, which together with increased sales in existing stores will contribute to continued growth in turnover."
A London-based H&M spokeswoman declined to say how many openings were planned. "We do plan to open more stores, but when and where, I can't say." The directors said in their report that changes in the regulatory environment could adversely affect the business, but did not specify the nature of the decisions that might constitute a risk to it. They said continuing rapid changes in fashion could increase competition or require substantial additional investments. H&M employed 79 staff in Ireland at the end of the accounting period. It paid out €1.55 million in wages and social welfare costs.
14 August 2006
H&M inspired by couture
Swedish fashion retailer Hennes & Mauritz has turned to the couture show for inspiration for its fall 2006 Modern Classic collection. Stand-out pieces for the line include a suit jacket with three-quarter-length sleeves and bow detailing, a pencil skirt, a shift dress and a tie-front blouse. Particularly the shift dress is expected to be the firm’s hottest style. “Couture-inspired classics are very feminine and chic and are just so ‘now’,” said H&M design director Margareta van den Bosch in a statement. “The great thing about the Modern Classic collection is that the garments all work well together, for a head-to-toe tailored look, worn by themselves, or teamed with a great pair of jeans. It is always best for customers to put together their own personal style at H&M and this season, it is very easy.”
The collection consists of feminine classics, such as wool-mix jackets with narrow, straight or wide-legged trousers or city shorts. Couture-inspired suit jackets are worn with short, bell-shaped or pencil skirts. Tops include classically tailored shirts, dress shirts or blouses that tie at the neck. A well-fitting trench coat or wool overcoat completes the look.
This season's colours are black, white, camel beige and grey, with accents of bright red and there are both pinstripes and block stripes in the collection. Must-have accessories include elegant leather bags and gloves, high-heeled shoes and boots, belts and scarves.
14 August 2006
H&M signs football player for men's campaign
Just when you thought the world cup is over – how much football can a fashionista endure after all – H&M have announced they are signing Italian soccer star Paulo Maldini. Instead of his usual shorts and jerseys, Maldini will sport such looks such as tweed suits, cashmere cardigans and pea coats.
H&M seems to be on an Italian trend, as the retailer has also signed Madonna for its women's campaign.
25 July 2006
H&M virtual dressing room
Online shopping just got better with the H&M Dressing Room, a key feature on the website of the fashionable high street – and online - retailer. In addition to being able to see the latest styles before you visit, you can now ‘try’ clothes on a virtual model designed to look like you.
The first time you visit the H&M site, you’ll need to select your country from the drop-down menu. If your computer is set to accept cookies, subsequent visits to the site will open the appropriate home page. From the U.K. home page, click Inspiration and choose Dressing Room from the drop-down menu. The pop-up window that opens is the door to the dressing room to your dreams. No buttons or zippers to hang us up, and no searching for the right size.
To get started, you can choose to use the standard model for a man or woman or customize a model to your body shape and features, including skin tone and hair style. If you have high-speed Internet, you can view the changes you make as you go.
We named our model and chose features that included body shape, height, and weight, as well as details, such as the shape of eyes, nose, and lips. When we were satisfied with our model, we clicked Continue and filled out the form to register with the MVM (My Virtual Model) network.
Once your account is set up, you can mix and match items available in H&M’s current line of clothing from categories that include swimwear, dresses, and accessories. After you assemble the perfect outfit, click Save Outfit to save it to My Closet where you can go back to view your outfits at any time. You can also click Print Outfit, so you have a handy reference to take with you to the store.
The only drawback to the site is that it functions better with AOL or Internet Explorer.
3 July 2006
H&M to open 10 stores for new chain
Swedish fashion giant H&M will open the first 10 stores of it’s new upmarket men’s and womenswear chain in selected international markets next year.
The stores will sell clothing at higher prices than its fast-fashion H&M chain. London’s Regent Street is tipped to be one of the locations for a store. The name of the new chain has yet to be revealed.
The retailer is also ramping up H&M’s footwear offer, which is limited to lighter shoes at present. It will roll out an extended shoe offer of fashion-led styles to 200 stores and will also increase the number of outlets selling shoes.
H&M will open 100 stores in the second half of this financial year, mostly in the US, Spain, France, Germany and the United Kingdom.
24 June 2006
H&M to launch new retail formula
Swedish fashion chain Hennes & Mauritz is going to launch a new retail formula for men and women next year. The new chain, which will have a brand new name, is geared towards a higher market segment and will carry higher-priced items. The company made the announcement while revealing the results for the second quarter. H&M said that although prices would be higher than its current offering, they would still be lower than the competition’s in the higher market segment. In 2007, the new chain will open 10 stores. No further information was given or is known about the locations of these stores. Nor were any other details given, although Nils Vinge, head of investor relations for the chain, told WWD that he expects more information to be forthcoming in August. It is, however, certain that H&M will open its first stores in the Chinese market. Two stores will open in Shanghai and Hong Kong in the spring.
The group simultaneously released its results for the second quarter on Wednesday. Profits for the quarter had risen to 3.92 Swedish kronor (£292 million), while sales gained 7 percent to 17.06 billion kronor. In May, sales rose 13 percent. The profit rise was partly due to the opening of about 50 stores in Europe and the US. By the end of May, the chain had 1224 stores in total. The company is planning to add another 13 percent by the end of the year. In September the first H&M stores will open in the Middle East, in Dubai and Kuwait.
Although the results were in line with analysts’ expectations, Vinge called them “weak”, especially in the German and Austrian markets. H&M’s biggest competitor, Spanish Inditex, realized a profit gain of 20 percent in the past quarter. He did, however, admit that sales were improving, especially in the Nordic countries, in France and in Spain.
22 June 2006
H&M to launch Harmony
Swedish fashion chain Hennes & Mauritz has introduced Harmony, a new one-off collection for women which will launch in September.
The collection will feature soft, body-skimming, feminine pieces that easily transcend the separation between evening, homewear and athletic wear. H&M wants to show women how to mix and match to carry over from day to evening and back again. The accent is on comfort and a personalized style.
“By mixing leggings, wrap tops, cashmere jumpers and knitted accessories with tailored pieces and denim, Harmony reminds us that fashion rules are meant to be broken and that being comfortable is the key to personal style,” said Margareta van den Bosch, H&M’s head of design.
Inspiration for the collection comes from ballet, Pilates and yoga. Individual pieces include sweatshirt couture, wrap tops, tunics, camisoles, leggings, legwarmers, hoodies, cardigans, scarves, hats, pyjama pants and boy shorts. Colours are soothing and soft, featuring beige, nude, pink, soft peach as well as charcoal, anthracite, grey and black, while fabrics are soft and luxurious, including cashmere, silk, fleece, cotton jersey, mohair as well as high-tech fibres.
Prices range from €34.90 for dressed to between €9.90 and €19.90 for jersey tops. The most expensive item is a knit for €39.90. Accessories prices range from €7.90 to €14.90.
20 June 2006
Madonna not too old for H&M
Madonna has hit back at claims she is too old to represent fashion chain store H&M. Her spokesperson insists the 47-year-old has more energy than an 18-year-old.
The superstar was recently confirmed as the face of the Swedish company's Autumn 2006 range. The decision has been criticised by advertising experts, who claim Madonna is too old to represent the company, whose shoppers are mainly young women.
Ad guru Jerry Della Femina says: "These kids trade in stars every two or three years, and many don't know Madonna." But the singer's spokeswoman Liz Rodenberg has hit back, telling PageSix.com: "I defy any 18-year-old to do a quarter of what Madonna does on stage. I hope Jerry Della Femina takes a nice pill”.
20 June 2006
Madonna goes high street
Madonna has confirmed she and her dancers will wear H&M off-stage for the remainder of her sold-out tour “Confessions” world tour. In addition to wearing the Swedish high street designs, Madonna has collaborated on a “specially designed Madonna tracksuit” that will be sold in H&M stores starting in mid-August. The singer and her dancers will star in an advertising campaign that is scheduled to break in August. It is not yet known who will be the photographer of the campaign.
“Partnering with H&M feels like a perfect fit,” Madonna said in a statement. “We’ll all get to express ourselves in our own individual ways. The dancers and I are excited to go shopping together.”
The tie-up is the latest of H&M’s high-profile associations aimed to generate buzz and elevate the firm’s image for inexpensive, trendy clothes to higher levels of creativity. In the last two years, H&M has worked with Karl Lagerfeld and Stella McCartney on popular one-off fashion collections that brought droves of shoppers into the stores.
Perpetuating that strategy, Dutch designers Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren, two of fashion’s most conceptual minds, were hired to design a collection that will be introduced in H&M stores this fall.
Working with a celebrity of Madonna’s caliber signals that H&M is willing to take its strategy for publicity-generating ploys into new territory.
“This is a thrill for H&M,” the retailer’s head of design, Margareta van den Bosch, said in a statement. “Aside from being great fans of Madonna’s music and fashion sense, we admire her ability to always be ahead of the trends in everything she does. We look forward to seeing how her touring family translates H&M’s seasonal trends to their own personal looks.”
9 June 2006
Madonna to star in H&M ads
Madonna is rumoured to be in talks with H&M to be the face of the new Viktor & Rolf collection that the Dutch duo are designing for the high street fashion chain.
The collection, which will be available for both men and women will hit stores this November and may see the face of pop icon Madonna advertising their designs.
6 June 2006
Hennes & Mauritz have enlisted the services of MarkMonitor, the leader in online corporate identity protection to help identify and eliminate online counterfeit and gray market sales of its fashion lines on illegal Internet auction listings.
A key component of MarkMonitor's integrated identity protection suite of solutions, Auction Monitoring addresses concerns over loss of revenue and brand erosion due to unauthorized product sales and illegal merchandising via Internet auction sites. H&M's adoption of MarkMonitor's solution significantly strengthens its capability to combat online counterfeit and gray market diversion in the highly competitive, global fashion industry.
H&M is currently operating in 22 countries, and, with more than a thousand stores, H&M's brand name is synonymous with popular and affordable fashion. As a leader in the fashion industry to manage the growing threat of counterfeit and gray market goods, H&M sought a solution that would enable the company to gain global visibility into illegal online activities and facilitate rapid reporting of fraudsters' identities worldwide.
"We suspected that our products were being sold illegally online and have not had the tools to track down and identify the perpetrators until we used Auction Monitoring," said Bjorn Norberg, General Counsel at H&M. "With MarkMonitor's solution, we can automate and more efficiently uncover the profile of those responsible and take immediate action to shut down their illegal auction listings. MarkMonitor will help us to better utilize internal resources by effectively scaling a previously time-consuming process, enhance the overall security of the company with in-depth monitoring of online fraud activities, and minimize revenue losses from counterfeit and gray market goods, so we can continue to provide quality fashion at the affordable prices that we are known for."10 May 2006
H&M benefits from World Cup
Hennes & Mauritz will introduce a World Cup collection for infants, children, teens and men. The company is thereby benefiting from the World Cup football which kicks off this summer. “We know that many of our customers are interested in both fashion and football and we think that fashion-oriented football supporters should (also) be able to feel trendy during this summer's World Cup,” said the company's head of design, Margareta van den Bosch, in a statement.
The collection will launch mid May in the majority of European and US H&M stores. For teens it will include T-shirts, vests, caps, badges, flip-flops, swimwear and bags for both sexes, inspired by the major competing nations Argentina , Brazil , England , France , Italy and Germany . The company has said it would include articles from all the qualified countries where it has stores, like Holland , Portugal , Spain , Sweden , Switzerland , Czech Republic , and the US . Prices will range from €7,90 for tops and bikinis to €4,90 for flip-flops.
21 April 2006
Weather affects H&M March sales
Fashion chain Hennes & Mauritz said sales in March remained unchanged compared with the same period the year before. Like-for-like sales dropped 8 percent. The company attributed the disappointing results to the cold weather last month. “The start of the season has been delayed due to the cold weather in March,” it said and added that a late Easter had also affected results, mainly in central Europe. H&M has lost its number one slot to Spanish retailer Inditex, owner of Zara. Inditex was not as dependant on Central European sales as H&M is and enjoyed robust sales in a warmer climate.
H&M chief executive Rolf Eriksen has been cutting costs and forming alliances with famous designers in an effort to boost profitability. Last month the company reported a 20.5 percent profit gain in the first quarter, although gross operating margins slipped slightly. At the time it warned that March sales would be weak. Since the end of March, the amount of H&M stores rose to 1,216, up from 1,101 at the same time last year.
19 April 2006
German H&M employees bully unionists
The Mail on Sunday yesterday reported that H&M employees in Germany went on TV last week to claim that the firm bullies union activists, threatens staff who criticise it and spies on its workers. One woman said “like many of my colleagues, I was told to put in a daily report on peoples phone conversations or chats in the office, all under threat of dismissal if I did not co operate”.
A union representative from Germany's Verdi, one of the worlds biggest trade unions said “The situation is getting worse and worse, and H&M management are doing nothing to improve it”. “The company treats its people with suspicion and with contempt” In Britain H&M spokeswoman said “There are absolutely no cases here in the UK matching those currently alleged to be going on in Germany.”
3 April 2006
H&M in line with projections
Swedish retail giant Hennes & Mauritz has announced that first quarter profits rose in line with expectations. Net profits increased 20.5 percent to Skr 1.8 billion (£132 million), while operating profits were up 16 percent to Skr 2.57 billion. Group turnover increased 20 percent to Skr 15 billion, although with comparable exchange rates, the increase was 14 percent.
However, the company emphasized that store sales had been affected by a late spring, cold weather in March and a late Easter, which resulted in “very weak sales” specifically in central Europe. Although profits remained strong, margins slipped somewhat because of increased costs of new textile quotas for China and a slightly higher dollar exchange rate.
Chief executive Rolf Eriksen has managed to bring the company to record profitability through cost cutting and recruiting major designers to enter into collaborations with H&M. The retailer chain said it would open a further 150 stores this year, 54 of which are planned for the second quarter. Most store openings will take place in the US, Germany, Holland, Spain and Poland. It also has plans to expand into Greece, where it will open its first store next spring. Some analysts have indicated that they are concerned by the company's weak spring/summer collection launch, reports the FT.
29 March 2006
H&M expands men's range
Swedish fashion chain H&M is to expand its men's range for this spring. In addition to its tailored suits, shirts and ties, the new spring collection will include knitwear, piqué, outerwear and blazers and non-matching trouser. “Most men now combine their office wardrobe with leisure garments. Jeans and T-shirts are important too, therefore, as a complement to our classic men's line, as is sports-inspired clothing,” said head of design Margareta van den Bosch in a statement. “Just like H&M's other ranges, this collection is all about styling and personal taste – about classic dressing for a modern look.”
The new season will begin with the launch of wool suits in navy with a chalk strip or in grey flannel. Shirts are checked or striped and can be paired with bright or off-white knits. Later in the season, thin cashmere will become available and the season will end with light cotton piqué in summery colours like yellow, orange, lilac or muted tones in brown, beige and camel. The range also includes handkerchiefs, belts and cuff-links.
6 March 2006
H&M goes Hollywood
Swedish high-street fashion chain Hennes & Mauritz is set to open a store on Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles.
“Hollywood has the demographics and the appeal as a hip location which is attractive to the H&M customer who wants what's current, trendy, and creating a buzz,” said Shaul Kuba of real estate investor CIM Group, who is leasing the store to H&M. “Selecting Hollywood Boulevard signals the renewed attraction of Hollywood as a retail and entertainment destination. H&M has a tremendous following among young women who want the latest fashions.”
This is the second location on the West Coast that H&M is leasing from CIM. It will open another store on Colorado Boulevard in the Old Pasadena district later this year.
20 February 2006
H&M scores in the UK
H&M, the high street international fashion chain, has seen customers spend more at its UK stores than in its Swedish base. The rapidly-expanding group said its 102 British stores racked up some £141 million in the three months to the end of November, compared with about £126m from its 124 Swedish outlets. Annual group figures from the retailer showed pre-tax profits rising to around £1 billion in the year to November 30 - missing analysts' forecasts after warmer weather hit business.
29 January 2006
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