‘Fash­ion and qual­ity at the best price in a sus­tain­able way’ “With H&M of­fer­ing on­line shop­ping in 35 mar­kets out of the 64 mar­kets that we are present in, on­line plat­form is a nat­u­ral ex­pan­sion of our busi­ness. We see a great po­ten­tial for fu­ture growth

Shoes & Accessories - - Research -

The fash­ion brand Hennes & Mau­ritz, or H&M, is a part of the H&M group that started with a sin­gle wom­enswear store in Västerås, Swe­den, in 1947. The com­pany was es­tab­lished by Er­ling Pers­son, who only sold women’s cloth­ing, thus he named his store Hennes, Swedish for ‘hers’. The idea was to cre­ate a fash­ion line for women that was fresh, changed fre­quently and was also af­ford­able. In 1968, Er­ling Pers­son ac­quired the store and cat­a­log of a Stock­holm store that sold hunt­ing equip­ment by the name of Mau­ritz Wid­forss.

This ac­qui­si­tion also in­cluded men’s cloth­ing in the in­ven­tory and so, Pers­son ex­panded into menswear. Ac­cord­ingly, he re­named the store Hennes & Mau­ritz, which was later ab­bre­vi­ated to H&M. The group has come a long way since its in­cep­tion; to­day, it has more than 4,379 stores in 64 mar­kets with six, clearly de­fined fash­ion brands like H&M, COS, Monki, & Other Sto­ries, Week­day and Cheap Mon­day. The com­pany em­ploys more than 148,000 peo­ple glob­ally and works on a wholly owned sub­sidiary model. H&M is the first com­pany to in­tro­duce a cloth­ing col­lect­ing ini­tia­tive world­wide with the pur­pose of re­cy­cling clothes to help re­duce the amount of nat­u­ral re­sources needed to pro­duce new gar­ments. Un­der this drive, the cus­tomers can han­dover their used gar­ments in stores and get re­warded with a coupon. H&M for­mally en­tered In­dia in Oc­to­ber 2015 when they opened their first flag­ship store at Delhi’s Se­lect Ci­ty­walk Mall but the com­pany has had an as­so­ci­a­tion with the In­dian mar­ket even be­fore that. Since H&M does not own any fac­to­ries, it works with around 800 in­de­pen­dent sup­pli­ers pri­mar­ily in Asia and Europe. Ap­prox­i­mately 60% of the pro­duc­tion takes place in Asia and In­dia is one of their most im­por­tant mar­kets. H&M is present in In­dia since 1993 and to­day works with over 100 sup­pli­ers.

Though H&M con­sid­ered In­dia as a very sig­nif­i­cant mar­ket, doors opened for them only in 2012. This was the year when the Gov­ern­ment of In­dia ap­proved the re­forms for com­pa­nies en­ter­ing through the sin­gle-brand re­tail route to have full own­er­ship of their op­er­a­tions in In­dia, un­like the ini­tial clause of lim­it­ing for­eign own­er­ship to 51%. This meant that H&M could have full con­trol on its mer­chan­dis­ing, brand­ing, pro­mo­tions, pric­ing, etc. – this was in sync with its global ex­pan­sion strat­egy.

The pop­u­lar­ity of the re­tailer can be gauged from the fact that in its maiden year of op­er­a­tion and with only four op­er­a­tional stores, the global fash­ion gi­ant an­nounced sales of USD 28.5 mil­lion dur­ing year 2015 to March 2016 – a record un­heard of in the re­tail ap­parel space.

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