1 group, 6 brands and 2, 800 stores worldwide. The numbers speak for themselves. The H & M Group is on the retail fast track, and isn’t slowing down. This week, we take a look at the group’s expansion strategy by focusing on the growth of three of their young brands: Monki, Cheap Monday and & Other Stories.
Offering playful and colorful clothing and accessories for younger women, Monki believes in creating innovative collections that allow their customers to express their individuality, whilst maintaining the greatest respect for their employees and the environment.
Considered as the younger sister of H&M, Monki has been around for nearly 7 years with a presence of over 60 stores worldwide. Their ecommerce site however, has only been up for about 18 months. Recently, they opened a shop next door to H&M in Paris with the goal of bridging the gap between their online and offline presence via clever actions on their very active social media sites. Trying to push the notion of ‘consumer experience’, Monki isn’t afraid to have a little fun, especially when it comes to their stores, which offer a world full of color, mystery and magic for all those who enter within. Monki store pictured above
Combining “influences from street fashion and subcultures with a catwalk vibe”, Cheap Monday is a brand sought out by stylish men and women looking for high-level fashion denim, clothing and accessories at low-level prices. The brand joined H&M in 2008, and celebrated the opening of the very first Cheap Monday Store in Copenhagen in 2009 and are set to open their first shop in Paris by early fall 2013.
As with most brands, an interesting story lies beneath. In 2000, Örjan Andersson, Adam Friberg and two of their friends opened a small second hand store in a Stockholm suburb. As the store was open uniquely on Saturdays and Sundays, it only seemed fitting that it be called“Weekend”. In spite of a remote location, the store was a hit thanks to its high-quality merchandise. Following the success of their shop, they decided to team up with Lasse Karlsson to launch a bigger store in central Stockholm, open every day of the week, thus receiving the name “Weekday”. Weekday offered a trendy mix of second hand clothing and high fashion denim, making it a retail magnet for Stockholm’s trend setting youth. Despite the success of this second shop, Örjan felt that much of the denim offered was still very expensive, and that there was a need for more reasonably priced fashionable jeans. From this came the first pair of Cheap Monday jeans, part of an inexpensive in-store brand boasting a distinctive skull logo designed by Örjan’s friends. 800 pairs were fabricated, and completely sold out within just weeks!
Today, Cheap Monday includes collections for men, women, and babies, and can be found in around 1,800 stores in more than 35 countries worldwide. Although experiencing rapid growth, the company’s initial objective still remains to offer customers high fashion pieces, without high fashion price tags.
H&M’s newest brand, &Other Stories believes that accessories, lingerie and beauty
regimens are just as important as clothing, and brings everything together under one roof, letting women focus on creating an entire look.
The shop opened in prime locations this spring in London, Barcelona, Copenhagen, Paris and Stockholm, proposing a diverse range of “high class” prêt à porter, shoes, accessories, lingerie, and beauty products. E-stores also opened throughout Europe, extending access to territories that have not yet implanted physical shops. Collections are built around inspiring fashion stories, and creative ateliers in Paris and Stockholm serve as the birthplace of designs. Lines are varied and detail oriented, and materials are carefully selected in order to offer lasting pieces for every woman, within all price ranges.
Interested in learning more about Monki, Cheap Monday and & Other Stories? Meet them at MAPIC this November!
Top image credit: Masson