The Swedish fashion giant H&M is the world’s largest retailer of clothing and accessories. Founded in 1947, the company currently has over 4,600 stores in 49 markets around the world. For six years in a row, Fortune has named the company “Europe’s Best Big Employer” and its success story is such that any company can learn from it. In this post, we take a look at how H&M has been so successful, and what is it offering its customers today?
The company was founded by Erling Persson in 1947. In 1968, H&M expanded its activities to Denmark and Norway. The first store outside of Scandinavia opened on July 17, 1973 at 1238 West Belmont Avenue in Chicago Illinois (Hennes & Mauritz AB). In 1974, the first international store opens in London, England (Hennes & Mauritz AB). In 1975, H&M opened its first store in France.
The company then expanded into Italy and the United States. In 1976, he reaches Asia, opening stores in Japan and Singapore
A year later, on November 14, a store was opened in West Berlin, making it the first store opened in a communist country (Hennes & Mauritz AB).
In 1978, H&M opens its first store on the African continent in Cairo, Egypt. On October 19, 1986, the H&M flagship store is opened by Erling Persson in Stockholm, Sweden. In 2000, the company launched its online store, and in 2013 it made it available for mobile purchases on smartphones
The best known brands from H&M are “COS”, “Monki” (a Swedish fashion chain) and “Weekday”. The number of employees has reached 327, and the income is $ 11 billion a year.
The biggest competition of the H&M brand are Zara, Mango and Uniqlo.
The future of the H&M brand looks promising. H&M is the world’s largest fashion brand by revenue and also one of the most profitable. More importantly, it has been generating more and more sales every year for almost two decades (the annual growth rate is around 18%).
And while H&M may not be considered “high-end” compared to Gucci or Stella McCartney, it is the affordable pricing that makes it so popular with consumers today: A dress from their collection would cost you around $ 20 – $ 100 – while brands like Ralph Laurens and Michael Kors offer dresses that start at $ 200 +.