The Growth and Development of Retailer H&M
Hennes & Mauritz (H&M) sales in Q1 2013 rose 2% up to 33.1 billion Swedish kroner, or $5.1 billion, compared to last year. In February, H&M’s total sales increased by 5 percept year-on-year. That said, sales were negatively impacted from leap day on February 29, 2012, resulting in a 3 percentage point disadvantage. The store has also increased locations in number by 327, from 2,491 in 2012, to 2,818 in 2013.
In other H&M news, the company is pushing to open up more locations across America. After 13 years and 269 stores in the U.S., brand awareness has really spread in the states. “We’ve established a strong brand. Now we can see that we can grow and expand in many markets in the U.S. There’s huge potential at the moment,” said Daniel Kulle, U.S. president of H&M.
Just last year, they opened up 40 new stores, and are looking to surpass that number in 2013. “This is just the beginning,” said Kulle, as he announced the opening of 10 new stores, including Chicago, Georgetown Park, New Orleans, West Palm Beach, and Honolulu. When asked for a prediction on the total number of stores that could potentially populate the U.S., Kulle declined to give a number, but advised listeners to use other major apparel tenants as a benchmark, like Forever 21 with 500 stores, and Express with 600 stores.
In addition to opening up new stores, H&M is looking to renovate some of their current locations, including the Newbury Street location, as well as Powell Street in San Francisco, and in White Plains. Kulle explains, “We have the resources of a healthy company. We have no debt and no financing from banks.” E-commerce is also an important aspect of the company’s sales and growth. “There’s huge growth in the multichannel,” said Kulle, as he explained the new U.S. e-commerce site being launched over the summer. The company will be using a catalogue and the new website as a “one-two punch”, coming to their customers from all angles.
The store located at 589 Fifth Avenue and 48th Street will be H&M’s largest in the world, covering 57,000 square feet. They are really going to try to customize the style and design of each store, depending on which demographic they are looking to tap into at each stores specific location.