H&M Group is to launch its Nordic lifestyle brand Arket in China for the autumn season, although it won’t be opening a physical store. Instead, it will open a digital flagship store on Alibaba Group’s B2C e-commerce platform Tmall.
The new e-store is the brand’s very first move outside of the European market. It currently has 20 stores, all of them in Europe, although it does ship globally via its international website.
The brand, which offers womenswear, menswear, kidswear, and interiors product, retails at a higher price than some of the group’s labels. It also offers a more curated collection of products with the company saying that this curation is designed to "simplify good choices and to make everyday life more beautiful, with a special focus on products that are designed to be used and loved for a long time”.
Its MD, Pernilla Wohlfahrt, said the brand already has a strong following in China and the company is looking forward to developing an even closer relationship to the creative communities there. "Partnering with Tmall is a fantastic opportunity for us to meet new customers, and we’re excited to build a store experience that brings together all the different aspects of our brand in a new way,” she added.
The brand’s collections could be well placed to capitalize on the post-coronavirus consumer mindset as its offers a mix of products that feed into consumer desires for cocooning and durable classics, as well as more seasonal items, quirky pieces, and goods that could be desirable during a period when pent-up demand for travel is being released.
Mike Hu, Alibaba Group VP, said Tmall is looking forward to adding a brand known for “sustainable fashion [that has] gained recognition throughout Europe for its typically Nordic designs”.
It will certainly be a good move for Arket with Tmall being the main online marketplace in China for brands and retailers.