H&M to launch new brand Arket this year

Swedish fashion retailer H&M has announced it will launch a new brand called Arket this year. The name, which means 'sheet of paper' in Swedish, will cater to a modern-day market with products for men, women, children and the home.

Arket will soon open its first store on Regent Street in London come early autumn 2017. After London, stores will be open in Brussels, Copenhagen and Munich. Consumers will also have the convenient option to buy Arket through its online shop at that will be available in 18 European countries.

"It both relates to our origin in the Nordic tradition of functional, long-lasting design and symbolizes the blank sheet, the sense of optimism and possibility we felt creating this new brand," Arket creative director Ulrika Bernhardtz said in a press release statement.

Nils Vinge, H&M's head of investor relations, describes the Arket collections as going from relaxed to well-dressed. It entices consumers on classical items that Arket will offer, including peacoats, trench coats and striped sweaters.

The classical theme will not only be reflected on the items but in the stores, as well. Arket stores will include a café if the location permits it. The café will be based in New Nordic Kitchen with a vision of quality ingredients and healthy living. Arket marks as a shift in strategy for H&M as it offers a smaller and curated assortment for the home. H&M revealed this year its plans to slow down store expansion and focus on an omnichannel mix due to lower sales as compared to rival Inditex.

Arket managing director, Lars Axelsson, said a fantastic team with diverse background and expertise will closely work together in building the brand. It has worked with producers to help develop materials and techniques that will provide high-quality and long-wear products at an affordable price. Setting the COS brand as precedent, ARKET will most likely open 200 stores in 50 location, as noted by Vinge.

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