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H&M Tests High-End Format With Stockholm Store

H&M wants to turn around years of stagnant sales using refreshed concepts, starting with an updated store in the retailer’s hometown of Stockholm, according to Reuters. The new location is aimed at affluent customers, with a focus on local tastes rather than the standardized range of clothing carried in most H&M stores.

The location offers a smaller selection of high-end clothes, more open shelves and color-coordinated selections. The store also enhances the shopper experience through the addition of espresso and invitation-only events for loyalty club members.

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“We have to raise the entire quality level: to have fewer items in, a nicer presentation of the goods,” said Karl-Johan Persson, CEO of H&M in an interview with Reuters. “That is a task, to be able to sell more with less, and to do that in a cost-efficient way.”

The tactics employed at the store mirror concepts being tested by rivals such as Inditex, which has been shuttering smaller Zara stores to focus on large, omnichannel-focused locations in prime shopping areas. Additionally, the fast fashion retailer is introducing AR and automation at select stores.

Rivals also have been moving into experiential retail, with destination stores that serve as more than just a place to shop. Nordstrom now offers a variety of services in some of its shops, including on-site tailoring, nail salons and even bars.

H&M also has been improving its offerings in other ways. The retailer enhanced it e-Commerce offering through web site and app upgrades and in June 2018 launched Afound, an omnichannel discount fashion retailer.

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