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The H&M family is getting a little bigger.
On Thursday, the Swedish fast-fashion giant announced their newest upscale brand, Arket, which is a “modern-day market that will offer essential products for men, women, children and home,” according a statement to Business of Fashion, which broke the news.
Arket, like fellow H&M sister brands Cos and & Other Stories, will have a higher price point than the core fast-fashion brand. However, in addition to the Arket label, the retailer will also sell non-H&M brands too, like a market (hence the name). Additionally, “arket” means paper in Swedish, which is a nod to both their commitment to lean, functional design as well as the concept of a blank slate and the optimism of the new brand.
“We did quite extensive research and what we clearly saw was a broad customer base out there who are looking for classic, quality products in an environment that should be both simple and inspiring, but also putting our own fantastic design together with complementary brands,” said managing director Lars Axelsson. “Today the customer is very busy. They are looking for convenience, but also a place that they can really enjoy.” Though there are no photos of product offerings, the overall vibe of the label — described with buzzwords like “warm” and “timeless” — is reminiscent of Japanese lifestyle and apparel brand Muji, which specializes in minimalist, quality basics and homegoods.
The Stockholm-based company will open its first brick-and-mortar store in London later this fall, and the offering will also be available online. Arket also has plans to open more retail stores in European cities like Munich, Brussels and Copenhagen by the end of the year. And because the future of retail is all about experience, a handful of these stores will feature a cafe concept featuring “new Nordic” healthy cuisine.
No plans for U.S. stores were mentioned in the announcement, but other H&M labels have begun putting down roots in Los Angeles. Earlier this month, & Other Stories opened an L.A. atelier in the heart of West Hollywood on Melrose Ave., hoping to infuse a bit of the Southern California style into the designs, and Cos opened a Beverly Hills store in 2014.
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