H&M Group has revealed it will launch new womenswear, menswear, and kidswear brand Arket early this autumn.
The brand, which will be priced above H&M, will open its first store in London and launch online in 18 European markets later this year, followed by stores in Brussels, Copenhagen and Munich. CEO Karl-Johan Persson described Arket as “simple, timeless and functional” designs with a focus on materials and fit.
Arket will stock own brand products as well as some third party brands.
The Regent Street store will also feature a café based on the New Nordic Kitchen.
Arket joins other H&M brands including Monki, & Other Stories, Cheap Monday and Weekday.
Group sales increased by 7% to £50.6m from 1 December 2016 to 28 February 2017. However, profits in the quarter were hit by lower sales growth, as well as higher than planned markdowns.
H&M plans to launch online in Turkey, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore and Malaysia within the first half of 2017, as well as opening the first standalone H&M home stores next year.
Persson added: “Retail is going through a challenging period of change in which customers’ shopping behaviour and expectations are changing at a fast pace as a result of growing digitalisation. This is an accelerating development which also brings great opportunities.
“To meet the rapid change that is going on in fashion retail we need to be even faster and more flexible in our work processes, for example as regards buying and allocation of our assortment. We are therefore investing significantly in our supply chain, such as in new logistics solutions with greater levels of automation, but also in optimising our lead times. In the changes we are making, advanced analytics will provide important support for decision making.”
Earlier this year, H&M confirmed that the first UK store for its Weekday fascia will open on Regent Street this summer.