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Photos: Courtesy of H&M
Photos: Courtesy of H&M
Photos: Courtesy of H&M
Photos: Courtesy of H&M
Photos: Courtesy of H&M
STORE SPACES

Check out H&M’s new concept store

BY Marianne Wilson

It’s not your typical H&M.

The Swedish apparel giant has completely made over its 24,000-sq.-ft. location at Kings Mall shopping center in Hammersmith, a borough of west London, giving it a much more upmarket look and relaxed vibe. The store offers a dramatic departure from the chain’s typical format, with its bright white interiors and racks upon racks of merchandise. It is one of several new interior concepts H&M has opened recently, with all designed to create a more personal and welcoming ambiance and improved, more aspirational customer experience.

The redone space boasts a Mediterranean-styled interior that is warm and welcoming, with flagstone flooring and live greenery creating a covered courtyard feel. The theme is reflected in the background music (a mix of Spanish and Italian pop songs) and the spacious fitting rooms, which are done in muted sepia-washed colors, arched mirrors and grey brick flooring with a herringbone pattern. A striking, wrought-iron staircase connects the three floors.

As much as the over aesthetic, it is the store’s curated, lifestyle merchandising strategy that sets it apart. Clothes displayed on tables are also grouped with accessories and H&M home products, and staff faves are indicated throughout the store via special labels. Sampling is encouraged in the beauty department.

Tech elements include digital screens outside the dressing rooms that show images of customers wearing their recent purchases, with the images shared via the #HMxME hashtag on Instagram. H&M Hammersmith is also the retailer’s first U.K. location to offer self-checkouts as an option.

In keeping with H&M’s sustainability emphasis, signage at the checkouts encourages customers to recycle their old clothing in exchange for a small discount. The store also features a “Repair & Remake” department that, in stark contrast to the fast-fashion model, encourages customers to keep their clothes longer by offering free repair of H&M clothes. The service is available without charge for members of the H&M Club loyalty program (non-members pay a slight fee). The department also offers embroidery personalization.

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