H&M Brings Two New Brands to London.
The news of H&M’s latest brand, which we now know to be Arket, hit the press last year, and speculation about what it might be like was rife. Candid Magazine even went as far to suggest that it was their next step to world domination, at least in a retail sense. What we didn’t know then is that H&M’s Weekday brand – the only currently trading brand to not have a London outpost – will also join Arket on London’s Regent Street.
H&M’s success has seen its core brand bear sibling brands like & Other Stories, Monki, Cheap Monday and COS. The new brand – dubbed P11 by the the Swedish HQ until the announcement that it would be named Arket – will open its first store this autumn on London’s Regent Street. Weekday, the modern and ethically mindful fashion and denim brand that offers another branch of Scandi-cool, will open next to Arket. Brand new stores always carry a certain level of risk, but this is not new ground for H&M.
The stores will take the unit formerly occupied by Banana Republic and will form another step in H&M’s London gauntlet as they nestle in between Regent Street’s H&M and COS stores. Slightly further up the street is the original & Other Stories and the flagship H&M store at Oxford Circus. Nearby on Carnaby Street there are outposts of Monki and Cheap Monday, as well as another H&M store on Oxford Street. The H&M triangle, if you will.
The brand “will offer a broad yet selected range of essentials for men, women and children, as well as a smaller, curated assortment for the home”, CEO Karl-Johan Persson explained in H&M’s three-month financial report, which was released on 30 March.
“The overall direction and focus is quality in simple, timeless and functional designs,” he continued. “There will be products in a broad price range, however in a slightly higher price segment than H&M with emphasis on materials, function and fit.”
A ” selection of external brands” will complement the brand’s own offer while a many Arket – which means “a sheet of paper” in Swedish – stores will host an in-store café as the portfolio expands into new territories including Munich and Copenhagen, creating a full lifestyle approach. “The café will be based on the New Nordic Kitchen and its vision of quality ingredients and healthy living,” Persson said.