The H & M Group is opening a new lifestyle chain:Arket’s customers are not supposed to shop quickly, but to buy them deliberately and decelerated. Trends are secondary. And it’s not just about fashion.
Affect.Above all, you should do this when you enter an Arket store.And then one should arrive, the husband, the children, the iPhone and above all recharge themselves. Arket, which is a new business model of the H & M Group , which has now opened its doors for the first time on London’s Regent Street and launched its online trade in 18 countries simultaneously.The seventh concept presented by the Swedish company, it describes it as a “modern market place for women, men and children”, along with the core brand and the labels & other stories, Cheap Monday, COS, Monki and Weekday.
Besides underwear clothing, there will also be products for the home, toys and food as well as a café.The name already allows an association with market purely phonetically, but translates simply “sheet of paper”.
In a more transnational sense, the brand is understood to be one.As a new beginning, which starts where the other concepts stop.At least in the middle price segment the model of the exclusive conceptstores such as Dover Street Market, Uzwei in Hamburg or The Store from the Soho House has not yet arrived – that is, the principle of combining many different brands, products and services under one roof.
Even if you would like to start by saying that the other six brands could be covered by every conceivable target group – from cool kids to normcore trailers, bargain hunters, families, individualists and pinstripe carriers – the Stockholm headquarters are convinced that there is a need for a new approach, which is characterized above all by the promising codes of sustainability and deceleration.Where else should such an idea come from, if not from a city that bears the title “European Green Capital” in which the buses drive with biogas and where the inhabitants catch their salmon for dinner from clean channels.
But it was not so much as an idea to seduce a new target group as a reaction to a need – yes, a demand of the modern customer, who no longer wanted to be driven by trend-driven shopping, hasty consumption and discredited fast fashion.”The stationary trade has to change,” says Ulrika Bernhardtz, the brand’s creator, who has been working on the concept since January 2015.”We need to think about what the store of tomorrow might look like.Why do you go to a store when you can buy everything online? “Customers would have less time today:” And for those who stay for shopping, it needs an experience, something beautiful. ”
With a carefully arranged assortment you want to convince the clientele. From every category of life you want to offer a perfect product – from olive oil to underpants. Also on the online filter was filed, so it was easier to find what you are looking for.
Each product has a code consisting of several digits: the ID is broken down by department – a ladies sweater made of recycled cashmere, for example, can be found under the number 222045-087R.”2″ for ladies, “22” for the category knit, “045” for the product, “087” for the material, in this case cashmere, and “R” for recycled.If you enter the code in the onlineshop , you will find the product and those that fit.The only question is how to recognize such codes as non-insiders at all?
Many so-called key products are supposed to last longer than just one season, one is striving for a much slower pace.”We have to spend more time in the development of really good things.Less choice is more in the end, “says Bernhardtz.”And we asked ourselves:Why are simple, well-made things often so madly expensive?We believe that with our knowledge and the structure of the company, we will be able to produce high-quality products ourselves. “At lower prices than usual, of course.
The most important thing, however, is to develop a product that is more qualitative and design more than a season, and above all, that it remains interesting.Especially with respect to sustainability , it is particularly bad if the product is not bought by anyone.Because it must be disposed of at the end of the season.
So you looked around in archives, looking for the classics that are always in demand:a trench coat, an arm coat, a good pair of jeans , the perfect white T-shirt.”But it was not about making a copy of a copy – the vintage pieces were always the starting point for new designs,” says Bernhardtz.Many of the women’s parts were originally male parts, which were reinterpreted.By using other materials or adding feminine elements such as pleats, gathers or lace.
In other categories, it seemed nonsensical to make something new out of a product.Like a pair of Converse Chucks about, Steiff Cuddly Animals or the Peppermint Peugeot.A total of 50 foreign brands have therefore been integrated into the product range, most of them in homewear, accessories, stationery and toys.There will be further cooperations in the future.
Collaboration, however, plays a major role behind the scenes.”We believe our customers will love our products, wear them longer and always have them back,” says Bernhardtz.But sustainability is already taking place: materials would be recycled, waste from the production reused, new techniques and textiles developed with the suppliers.”And we need to think about how we can provide the customer with more transparency.” A first step is taken: each Arket product provides information on the factory in which it was made.
80 percent are produced in Asia, 20 percent in Europe. The design is also international, Scandinavian is the only idea of function, everything should be weatherable and practical. The “casual friday” is the new everyday life. This is what the Swedes set with their “everyday uniform” and uncomplicated style. “The type of customer we want to address often has children. But not Nannys. And the children must also feel welcome, “explains the creative director.
Price-wise you move above H & M prices, a men’s shirt can cost between 39 euros and 119 euros – but then it is from heavy flannel.This could well be the case for the Germans, who generally attach importance to quality and a good price/performance ratio.Germany is already the strongest market for the H & M Group.
But do you like the so-called Millennials ?The growing target group, which does not want anyone to prescribe what they should buy or like?Compare the prices and qualities online?”My husband is 50, our son is 17, both will find something at Arket,” says Mrs. Bernhardtz.One does not focus on a certain age.Who knows where the Millennials are developing?”The only thing we know is that we need to focus on really good products.”