H&M’s troubles run deeper than an upset over a poorly conceived photoshoot.
Why Fast-Fashion H&M Is Losing Favor With American Fashionistas: It’s A Mess
Forbes, Feb 4, 2018
In order to clean up H&M’s financial mess, it needs to fix the mess at the store level, where the people that matter most experience it. Full disclosure: I have never visited an H&M store in my international travels, but have been to plenty here stateside, so this article looks at why H&M is falling out of favor with American fashionistas.
Too much-uninspired fashions
To put it simply H&M’s fashion supply far exceeds its demand. And while the company has been slow to migrate sales online and sees a fix in expanding its online presence, uninspired fashion isn’t going to sell any better online than it does in the stores.
“Consumers have felt that H&M has been somewhat drab and not on trend as much as competitors,” says Michael Dart, author of Retail’s Seismic Shift and anAT Kearney partner. “With slower supply chain (unlike super-fast Zara), they have not responded as quickly to rapid shifts in taste and increasing fragmentation in the consumer market with many more small segments. As a result, they have had more markdowns, promotions and less inspiration for the consumer. It’s a formula for sagging results.”
H&M stores are a mess
And all that unsold product in the stores needs tending, which this recent shopper, Solange Strom, who also happens to be managing partner and co-founder at Infranext Capital and a former retail executive, tells me makes shopping there singularly unappealing.
“I went shopping over the holidays with my 22-year-old son (a pure Millennial)and despite being a keen online aficionado, he prefers to go to a physical store when he wants to buy clothes. We entered the H&M store and exited within seconds. My son told me there was no way he was shopping there as the store was an absolute mess, clothes everywhere left by clients and with no merchandising to talk about and even less customer service,” she shares.
They ended up instead at Uniqlo where he made all of his purchases. “Clean store, nice merchandising (good lighting too) competent staff and simple, well-cut basics,” was what they found there. Read More