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STORE SPACES

Fast Fashion Gets a Revamp New H&M has upscale feel, lifestyle focus

By Marianne Wilson It’s not your typical H&M. The Swedish apparel giant has transformed its 24,000-sq.-ft. location at Kings Mall in Hammersmith, a borough of west London, giving it a much more upmarket look and relaxed vibe. The redone store offers a dramatic departure from the chain’s typical format, with its bright white interiors and racks upon racks of tightly-packed merchandise. It is one of several new interior concepts H&M has opened recently, with the locations all designed to create a personal and welcoming ambiance and an improved, more aspirational customer experience. The Kings Mall store boasts a Mediterranean-styled interior that is warm and welcoming, with flagstone flooring and live greenery creating a covered courtyard feel. The theme is reflected in the background music (a mix of Spanish and Italian pop songs) and the spacious fitting rooms, which are done in muted sepia-washed colors, arched mirrors and grey brick flooring with a herringbone pattern. A striking, wrought-iron staircase connects the three floors. Terrace-styled chairs and stools are located throughout space. As much as the overall aesthetic, it is the curated, lifestyle merchandising strategy that sets the new H&M apart. Clothes displayed on tables are also grouped with accessories and products from the retailer’s home line. Staff faves are called out throughout the store. Sampling is encouraged in the beauty department. Tech elements include digital screens outside the dressing rooms that show images of customers wearing their recent purchases, with the images shared via the #HMxME hashtag on Instagram. The store also blends the online and offline worlds. Signs encourage shoppers to activate the in-store mode of the H&M app. Customers can use it to save favorites by scan-

ning price tags, search for different sizes or colors and explore what is currently available in the store. And when it comes to checking out, customers can opt for the traditional method or use self-service stations. Signage at the checkouts encourages customers to recycle their old clothing in exchange for a small discount. They can

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also take advantages of services in the “Repair & Remake” department that encourage customers to keep their clothes longer by offering free repair of H&M clothes. The service is available without charge for members of the H&M Club loyalty program (non-members pay a slight fee). The department also offers embroidery personalization. MAY/JUNE 2019 CHAINSTOREAGE.COM

4/29/19 11:05 AM

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Chain Store Age - May/June 2019  

Chain Store Age - May/June 2019  

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