H&M is about to expand its reach to the next level with the launch of a new retailer. The new brand, called Arket, will join & Other Stories, Cheap Monday, COS, Monki, and Weekday as an all-inclusive outlet with products for women, men, and children.
In addition to selling H&M-manufactured clothing and home goods, Arket will also carry a handful of other complementary brands. Given that the store is targeting customers in search of "classic, quality products," the price points have been set on the higher side. Ulrika Bernhardtz, Arket’s creative director, further elaborated on the mission of the brand to Business of Fashion:
We really believe it’s relevant to a modern customer to bring different brands together—under one roof, under one channel—and to make that choice for them and also make it more convenient. The brand DNA is timeless, crisp, quality and warmth," Bernhardtz continued. "Timeless is style beyond trend. And crisp is the counterpart to that: to be always relevant, modern and fresh. Quality is not only the feel of garments; it's also how they are produced. Warmth is about being genuine and personal.
According to Lars Axelsson, the managing director of Arket, the retail brand has been in the works for the past two years. The name is Swedish, and translates to “sheet of paper." Bernhardtz said that they chose this for the store because “it both relates to our origin in the Nordic tradition of functional, long-lasting design and symbolizes the blank sheet, the sense of optimism and possibility we felt creating this new brand."
The first Arket store is expected to open on London's Regent Street toward the end of this summer. Customers can expect more stores to be built in Brussels, Copenhagen, and Munich as well. Additionally, some stores will include a "café concept" with a healthy menu that is described as "new Nordic" cuisine to really sell Arket as an all-encompassing destination.
As for everyone else, we'll have to resort to shopping online within the 18 European countries that the company has confirmed. (Right now, their focus is on dominating the European market.) So far, this sounds really, really good.