H&M – second largest clothing manufacturer in the world behind Zara.
The first store opened in 1947 in Västerås, Sweden, selling women’s clothing. The store was called Hennes.
The name was changed to Hennes & Mauritz in 1968 after the founder Erling Persson bought the hunting and fishing equipment store Mauritz Widforss. It was at this point that they began selling men's and children's clothing.
The Stockholm-based company currently has 2,800 stores in 48 markets and more than 104,000 employees.
$17 billion in annual sales
The company’s clothing collections are created in Sweden by approximately 150 designers and 100 buyers.
A product’s lead-time (production time) can vary from a couple of weeks to six months.
H&M outsources production to a network of 800 suppliers; 60% of the production takes place in Asia, the rest in Europe.
The target customers of H&M belong to the group of fashionable and trendy consumers who see shopping as a social activity providing pleasure in their daily life. They acquire the most fashionable clothes each season and want to follow the trends without investing a lot of money.
The thing I found most facinating when reading the description of H&M's customer. Shopping is defined as a hobby. Big stores like Zara and H&M are banking on that *hobby*.
I remember when a hobby was something like
Now when I get together with a girlfriend it is often, "do you want to go shopping?"
Not that we need anything. That certainly hasn't stopped us from trying to find something that we think we need.
Happily we have been shopping more and more consignment stores. This *could* be defined more as a hobby. It takes a bit of skill. You need to know where to look. You never know what you will find. There is a thrill in discovering that one unique piece that no one else will be wearing. It's an added bonus that it costs way less than what you'd pay retail and you're helping to save the planet. (Well if you were really worried about it you wouldn't be out shopping in the first place… mea culpa.)
I started going "off" of H&M lately. Sure I'll take a looksie and see what they have every once in a while but I'm not sure if it's me that has changed or that the last 3-4 seasons I haven't liked anything that they have produced. I find that their merchandising is awful. Crowded racks piled full of disposable clothing with no space to walk might finally be wearing on me. I feel like I'm at one huge garage sale. It could also be that I can see every other person and their dog (or cat) wearing the same items from H&M. Whatever it is, H&M has left a bad taste in my mouth as of late.
Do you ever find that some of the stores you used to shop at are no longer attractive?