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H&M launches new upmarket stores with Nordic-inspired coffee shop

STOCKHOLM, Sweden – Swedish retail giant, Hennes & Mauritz (H&M) have announced the launch of a new addition to its fashion portfolio.

Arket, described as a “modern-day market that will offer essential products for men, women, children and home” will open its first store on London’s Regent Street after summer, closely followed by Brussels, Copenhagen, Munich and 18 European online markets.

In addition to its own products, Arkey will also stock non-H&M products and each store will have a coffee shop inspired by Scandinavian cuisine and food trends. The project started two years ago but the strategic timing for the launch could be due to falling profits in the December to February period.

“Starting this project, a little bit over two years ago, 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.

Today the customer is very busy. They are looking for convenience, but also a place that they can really enjoy.” said Lars Axelsson, Arket’s managing director, when speaking to Business of Fashion.

The fashion group operates six other retail brands: H&M, & Other Stories, Weekday, Cheap Monday, Monki and its upmarket alternative, COS.

Currently available in 65 markets and 35 e-commerce markets, the H&M group has plans to expand in five new countries in 2017 – Kazakhstan, Colombia, Iceland, Vietnam and Georgia – as well as continue expansion to six new online markets, such as Hong Kong.