H&M will open its new brand & Other Stories in Europe by Spring 2013 — but the retailer's renewed focus on existing and emerging markets means that American customers will have to wait at least until next Summer to shop H&M online.
The & Other Stories brand caters to "women with an interest in fashion who want to create their own personal style, and focuses on the total look," according to the company's recent nine-month report. While not a luxury brand as initially speculated, & Other Stories will offer a full complement of clothing and accessories designed by in-house design teams in Paris and Stockholm at a higher price point than the H&M offerings. The brand, which has been compared to H&M's other higher-priced line, COS, will be available in stores and online in "select European markets."
Back at H&M, the Swedish retailer will have opened some 300 new stores by the end of the year, many of which are in China and the United States. Thailand will have its first H&M store by the end of September, and Mexico will get its first store by the end of the year.
In addition to physical store growth, "we have intensified preparations for the rollout of H&M shop online to other markets in the Group," said H&M CEO Karl Persson. "These investments — and as we need more time for the launch of our online shop for the US — mean that the launch of H&M shop online in the US has been moved to Summer 2013."
Photo: The mood board in the & Other Stories atelier, courtesy of H&M.