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H&M Embraces Localization Strategy Through Small Concept Stores

As H&M focuses on a new consumer group, the fast-fashion retailer is set to open a store on King’s Road in Chelsea, London, in spring, responding to fashion demand. 

The store, however, takes a different approach to what the brand is known to do. It will be taking a more localized approach, catering to its surroundings. 

The reported concept store is set to provide the brand’s latest and most stylish products, featuring elevated designs and trends tailored to the local surroundings. It aims to inspire female customers who frequent the store. 

H&M has said patrons can look forward to high-quality women’s apparel, beauty items, footwear and accessories, with personalized services and interactive experiences. Furthermore, the King’s Road location will deliver exclusive in-store moments, as per H&M’s announcement. 

“We are delighted to be opening our doors on the King’s Road, an area which has long been synonymous with fashion and style. Our new store will offer the H&M customer an experience unique to the area, with curated, trend-driven products and a creative, inspiring store design,” said Henrik Nordvall, country manager of H&M UK & Ireland. 

The store’s design will capture the essence of both the building’s heritage and the local surroundings. It will incorporate high-quality materials to enhance the overall store experience. 

“The King’s Road store will be a place for interactive moments, enabling customers to develop an affinity with our brand that goes beyond our products and really speaks to the fashion heritage of the local area,” Nordvall said. 

H&M’s Pivot to New Shoppers

PYMNTS recently reported that H&M, facing competition from Shein and rivals like Zara for attention and market share, has been compelled to reassess its strategy. 

In response to Shein’s rapid growth and influence, H&M is placing a greater emphasis on attracting customers seeking higher-end products. 

However, H&M maintains, according to its statement, that it has not deviated from its core approach of offering customers “the best combination of fashion, quality, and sustainability, at the best price.” 

Read more: H&M Loses Market Share in Fast Fashion, Pivots to Target New Spenders 

Why Localization Might Save H&M

By tailoring the shopping experience to the local community’s needs and preferences, stores have a chance to create familiarity and resonance. This personalized touch fosters a stronger bond between the brand and consumers, as it reflects an understanding of the unique characteristics and demands of the local market. 

These compact, community-focused stores allow for curated product selections that align with the tastes and trends prevalent in the area. Staff in small-format stores are more likely to have a better understanding of the local community, enabling them to offer personalized recommendations and services that resonate with customers. 

Consumers appreciate the accessibility and ease of navigating these compact spaces, fostering a sense of belonging and loyalty to the brand. 

Other Retailers Localize

Foot Locker came up with a reset plan that included a strategy that called for creating deeper relationships with its customers in-store. To do that, the sports retailer looked to smaller, more personalized experiences. 

In December, PYMNTS reported that in the third quarter, Foot Locker continued to shake things up by moving away from regular mall locations and trying out new store formats. The president and CEO, Mary Dillon, highlighted the commitment to giving each store its own unique character. Throughout the quarter, Foot Locker successfully opened or revamped 30 new community and power stores worldwide, bringing the total of these modern-format stores to 198. 

Dillon highlighted the success of these locations, with increased levels of foot traffic, conversion rates, and average purchase amounts when compared to the rest of the stores in the fleet. 

Read more: Foot Locker: Sales Bump Shows Personalized Retail a Good Fit 

Petco in Union Square, New York, aimed to provide a thoughtfully selected range of high-quality products sourced from vendors that align with the local community.

The company envisioned an engaging shopping experience, allowing pets and their parents to discover the latest styles from Petco’s in-house brand, Reddy. The store features fitting stations, a customization table, and a lounge area to enhance the overall immersive shopping experience. 

Read more: Petco Opens One-Stop Destination for Pet Health and Wellness in New York City