STOCKHOLM Jan 9 World number two fashion
retailer Hennes & Mauritz will launch an
eagerly-awaited new chain of stores targeting women shoppers in
the Spring, it said on Wednesday.
The new stores, to be called "& Other Stories" will offer
clothes, shoes, bags and accessories in Barcelona, Berlin,
Copenhagen, London, Milan, Paris and Stockholm initially.
H&M will also sell the collection online in a further three
Spokeswoman Elke Kieft declined to say where the first store
would be located or when it would open.
The Swedish firm is hoping new chains will broaden its
appeal and customer base and help it catch up with arch-rival
Inditex, the world's biggest fashion retailer.
Inditex already has eight separate store concepts to entice
different customer segments to splash their cash compared with
H&M's upmarket Collection of Style (COS), and a small number of
Monki and Weekday stores.
Analysts say H&M can still expand its core brand, which is
growing in Europe, North America and Asia, while it is also
mulling stores in the southern hemisphere.
But it will get harder to achieve the 10-15 percent yearly
expansion in stores H&M aims for, and it makes sense to spread
the risk by adding more upmarket chains alongside its COS
stores, analysts say.
Kieft said the new stores would have a wide range of styles
"It varies from, for example, flipflops for 7 euros to
leather boots for 225 euros ($290)," she said.
"A fabric bag could be 50 euros but we will have bags for
around 200 euros as well, and everything in between."
The "& Other Stories" stores will also sell clothes and
"Its our aim to be a one-stop styling destination," Kieft
said. "Beauty is going to be important as well. So there will be
a wide range of colour cosmetics."
($1 = 0.7654 euros)
(Reporting by Veronica Ek and Simon Johnson; Editing by Mark