H & M Hennes & Mauritz AB (H&M) is a Swedish multinational retail-clothing company, known for its fast-fashion clothing for men, women, teenagers and children.
H&M exists in 43 countries and as of 2011 employed around 94,000 people. The first store was opened on the high street of Västerås, Sweden in 1947. It had 2,325 stores at end of 2011 and 2,629 stores at end of August 2012. It is ranked the second largest global clothing retailer, just behind Spain-based Inditex (parent company of ZARA), and leads over third largest global clothing retailer, United States based GAP Inc.
The design team in the company’s Sweden office controls the steps of production, from merchandise planning to establishing specifications, and production is outsourced to approximately 800 factories in Europe and Asia. These facilities are used for horizontal division of labor, rather than being integrated.
The Middle East
The company opened its first Asian store (also the company’s first franchise) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, in 2006. It followed with a store in the Salmiya district of Kuwait City, Kuwait. In 2008, it opened its doors in Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, and Saudi arabia.
It expanded into East Asia in March 2007, with its first store opening in the city of Hong Kong on 10 March 2007. Australian pop singer Kylie Minogue opened that store where she also exclusively launched her range of swimwear, “H&M loves Kylie”. The first location in the city of Shanghai was opened in 2007. There are a total of 114 stores in China. (2012)
The first Japanese store was opened in Ginza on 13 September 2008, while a second store was opened in Harajuku in November 2008. Another store was opened in the Shibuya shopping district on 19 September 2009.
On 25 February 2009, the company announced that it had signed an agreement to open its first store in South Korea, located in the Myeongdong district of Seoul, and that it was scheduled to open during Spring 2010.
The first Israeli store opened in Tel Aviv in 2010, followed by five more stores across the country,including a branch at the Malha Mall in Jerusalem.
The company opened its first store in Singapore on 3 September 2011. The store, located on Orchard Road, is 2,800 square meters and spans three levels.A second store, with 20,000 square feet and spanning two levels, was opened at ION Orchard on 28 November 2012.
The first store in Thailand, a duplex flagship store with an area of 3,300 sqm, was opened on 29 September 2012. It is located in Siam Paragon in Bangkok. Another 2 stores, located at The Mall Bangkapi and Terminal 21 also in Bangkok.
The first store in Malaysia opened on 22 September 2012, and is located at Lot 10, Kuala Lumpur and spans three levels. The second store at Setia City Mall in Shah Alam, has been opened since 4 October 2012. Another store is located at Paradigm Mall in Petaling Jaya.
Its first non-Swedish store was opened in Norway in 1964 and from then onwards, the company embarked upon a major expansion program opening many further stores in Europe, including Denmark, Switzerland, Germany and the United Kingdom. The first H&M store to open outside of Scandinavia was in the United Kingdom, in 1976. And this year H&M is planning to go back north – the opening of two new stores in Riga is announced.
In the 1990s, its first stores opened in Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, the Netherlands and Spain. In Portugal the first store opened in 2003, in Chiado, Lisboa. The company has continued to expand its business and the company has an extensive network throughout much of Europe. Germany is the company’s largest market (with 377 stores as of 2011), followed by the United Kingdom (with 192 stores as of 2011) and then Sweden (with 168 stores as of 2011).
In 2004, H&M opened its first store in the Republic of Ireland. As of 2013 there a 12 individual H&M stores in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.
In 2013, H&M is expected to open at least 6 stores in Lithuania. Four of them will open in the country’s capital city Vilnius. According to H&M, the largest store in the Baltic states (3.500 m2) will open in the shopping mall “Akropolis” in the fall of 2013. It is publicly declared that openings in Klaipeda and Siauliai – other major cities of Lithuania – will follow up.
H&M is to open in Serbia in 2013. The first stores were announced to be opened in Belgrade.
Croatia is the second European country that isn’t in The European Union where H&M opened their store. On 7 and 14 April 2011, first two stores were opened in Croatia in the exclusive Cvjetni shopping center in Zagreb and in the Arena Centar, near the Zagreb Arena. On 25 August 2011 store was opened in City Center One, Split, on 8 September 2011 store was opened in Zadar and on 15 September 2011 store was opened in City Center One, Zagreb. On 20 October 2011 store was opened in Westgate Shopping City.
On 13 March 2009, the company opened its first location in Russia, in the Metropolis mall in Moscow, near the Moscow Metro Voykovskaya station. On 20 March 2009, it opened a second Russian location in the MEGA Family Shopping Centre in Khimki. On 22 October 2009, a third location opened in the MEGA Family Shopping Centre in Belaya Dacha. On 18 October 2009, a store was opened in Rostokino at the Golden Babylon shopping centre, Europe’s largest shopping centre.
The company opened its first Canadian store in March 2004. There are currently fifty-six stores in Canada, including Alberta, British Columbia, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario and Quebec. The fifty-seventh will open in Ottawa’s Bayshore Shopping Centre in the fall of 2013. Speculation also states that they will open a second Ottawa location in an expanded Rideau Centre in the spring 2015.
As of August 2010, the company had nearly two hundred individual stores in the United States.
It had opened its first U.S. store in New York City, on Fifth Avenue (at 51st Street) in March 2000; as of January 2011, nine additional stores in city’s Manhattan borough alone.
On 18 March 2010, the company opened its first store in North Carolina at the Crabtree Valley Mall in Raleigh.
In October 2010, plans were announced for it to open its first Texas location in Dallas.The Dallas store opened 19 August 2011 at the North Park Mall off of 75 in North Dallas.
The company opened in The Gardens Mall in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, on 5 November 2010.
On 11 November 2010, it opened its first Oregon location at the Pioneer Place in Portland.
In December 2010, H&M opened its largest store in the world at the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. The store contains three floors, three checkout stations, an elevator, and a cut-open facade.
In 2011, H&M opened a flagship store in Denver, Colorado and also announced that it would open other locations in the Carolinas in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
In January 2013, it was announced that a new store would be opened in Louisville, Kentucky in the Fall of the year along with a brand-new flagship store in Nashville, Tennessee. In May 2013, it was announced that a new store would be opened in Charleston, South Carolina in the historic S.H. Kress & Company building on King Street in downtown Charleston in Fall 2013.
H&M announced through its official Twitter account that there will be online shopping available to USA customers Summer of 2013.
The first H&M in Latin America was opened on November 1, 2012 in Santa Fe, one of the most distinguished malls in México. This H&M is the second largest store in the world with 13779 square feet on three floors. In March 2013, H&M Home was added to the store, making it the only H&M Home in all of North America.
The company opened its first store in South America in March 2013. It is located in Santiago’s Costanera Center, the largest mall in Latin America.
Although the company as of December 2012 had no stores in Australia, in April 2007, Kylie Minogue teamed up with the company to introduce a swimwear line called, “H&M loves Kylie”, featuring a theme of Australia. “When we think of Australia and glamour, we think Kylie, who is such a stylish person,” the company’s design head Margareta van den Bosch said in a statement.
On March 21, 2013 H&M announced that they will be opening their first Australian store in 2014.
In 2008, the company used the song “Hang On” by British singer-songwriter Lettie as background music to its UK website. Their fashions have been featured in an interactive fashion art film by Imagine Fashion called Decadent Control. It premiered in March 2011 and stars Roberto Cavalli, Kirsty Hume, Eva Herzigová and Brad Kroenig.
In November 2004, selected company stores offered an exclusive collection by fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld. The press reported large crowds and that the initial inventories in the larger cities were sold out within an hour although the clothes were still available in less-fashion-sensitive areas until the company redistributed them to meet with demand.
In November 2005, the company launched a collection by Stella McCartney and, in November 2006, by avant-garde Dutch designers Viktor & Rolf.
In March 2007, it launched another collaboration designed by the pop star Madonna. In June 2007 the company worked with game developers Maxis to create a stuff pack for the latter’s The Sims 2 computer game, H&M Fashion Stuff.
In November 2007, the company launched a collection by Italian designer Roberto Cavalli. It was reported that the clothing sold out very quickly. Also in 2007, another design with Kylie Minogue was launched in Shanghai, China. In the spring of 2008 the Finnish company Marimekko was selected as guest designer and was followed by Japanese Comme des Garçons in the fall.
For spring and summer 2009, the British designer Matthew Williamson created two exclusive ranges for the company – the first being a collection of women’s clothes released in selected stores. The second collection saw Williamson branch into menswear for the first time, only in selected stores. The second collection also featured swimwear for men and women and was available in every company store worldwide.
On 14 November 2009, the company released a limited-edition diffusion collection by Jimmy Choo featuring shoes and handbags, ranging from £30 to £170 including a range of men’s shoes. The collection also included clothing designed by Choo for the first time, many garments made from suede and leather, and was available in 200 stores worldwide, including London’s Oxford Circus store. Sonia Rykiel also collaborated with the company, by designing a ladies knitwear and lingerie range that was released in selected company stores on 5 December 2009.
For Fall 2010, the company collaborated with French fashion house Lanvin for its 2010 guest designer.
For Spring/Summer 2011, the company collaborated with fashion blogger Elin Kling, which was available at selected stores only.
In June 2011, H&M announced a collaboration plan with Versace, that was released on November 19. Versace is also planning a Spring collaboration with H&M that will only be available in countries with online sales.
In November 2011, H&M announced a collaboration plan with Marni, to be launched in March 2012. The campaign will be directed by award-winning director Sofia Coppola.
On 4 October 2012, Japanese Vogue editor Anna Dello Russo will launch an accessories collection at H&M as Paris Fashion Week draws to an end. The collection will be stocked in 140 H&M stores worldwide and also be sold through the H&M website
On June 12, 2012 H&M confirmed that it will launch a collaboration with avant-garde label Maison Martin Margiela for a fall rollout. The Maison Martin Margiela collection for H&M will hit stores on November 15, 2012.
Beyoncé will be the face of H&M in summer 2013. Her campaign, which begins in May 2013 is entitled “Mrs. Carter in H&M”, and draws heavily on Knowles’ personal style.
The branding consultancy Interbrand ranked the company as the twenty-first most-valuable global brand in 2009 and 2010, making it the highest-ranked retailer in the survey. Its worth is estimated at $12–16 billion.
The full company name Hennes & Mauritz was rebranded to H&M to simplify worldwide perception of the brand.
The company owns the two-letter domain hm.com. The domain was registered in the early 1990s, but data on the first registration is lost. In 1998 Hennes & Mauritz was able to buy the domain hm.com from a company called A1 in a non-published domain transaction.
In addition to the H&M namesake brand, the brand architecture consists of subbrands COS (Collection of Style), Monki, Weekday, Cheap Monday, and & Other Stories.
In a press release, the company announced that it would begin selling home furnishings. As of 2009, it was distributed exclusively by the company’s internet catalog, so it is only available in countries where H&M is sold online, such as Denmark, Finland, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the UK. The first and only H&M Home in all America opens in México in March 2013
In August 2011, nearly 300 workers passed out in one week at a Cambodian factory supplying H&M. Fumes from chemicals, poor ventilation, malnutrition and even “mass hysteria” have all been blamed for making workers ill. The minimum wage in Cambodia is the equivalent of just $66 (£42) a month, a level that human rights groups say is not even half that required to meet basic needs.
On 2 January 2013, The Ecologist reported allegations by Anti-Slavery International that H&M is continuing its association with Daewoo in exploiting child and adult forced labor as cotton harvesters in Uzbekistan.
Bangladeshi and international labor groups in 2011 put forth a detailed safety proposal which entailed the establishment of independent inspections of garment factories. The plan called for inspectors to have the power to close unsafe factories. The proposal entailed a legally binding contract between suppliers, customers and unions. At a meeting in 2011 in Dhaka, major European and North American retailers, including H&M, rejected the proposal. Further efforts by unions to advance the proposal after numerous and deadly factory fires have been rejected.
On 19 May 2013, a textile factory that produced apparel for H&M in Phnom Penh, Cambodia collapsed and killed three while injuring several others.The incident has raised concerns regarding industrial safety regulations.
On 6 January 2010, it was reported that unsold clothing and other items in one New York City store are cut up before being discarded, presumably to prevent resale or use.
On 24 January 2012, H&M was reported to have stolen an artist’s work, using it on multiple items without compensating the artist.
As of 2012, H&M has raised over $4.5 million USD, through a 5 year partner program with UN charity organization UNICEF.
Starting in February 2013, H&M will offer patrons a voucher in exchange for used garments. Donated garments will be processed by I:CO, a retailer that repurposes and recycles used clothing with the goal of creating a zero-waste economy. The initiative is similar to a clothes-collection voucher program launched in April 2012 by Marks & Spencer in partnership with Oxfam.