Hennes & Mauritz (H&M) is one of Europe’s most successful fashion chain stores. This Swedish based company operates in more than 22 countries and has started successfully tapping the US market on the East Coast and California. It targets the ultra-hip consumer by offering cheap, cutting edge fashion for men, women and children. They have recently branched out their merchandise mix to include maternity and plus sizes. Germany is currently their biggest market (30% of sales), Sweden is a close second and the UK third.

Their philosophy: “to offer unbeatable value by providing fashion forward clothing at the best possible price” 

H&M markets their desirable brand to high-end fashion consumers despite their discount fashion price points. You will often find an H&M located right next to a designer brand. In 2004, H&M stores offered an exclusive collection by Karl Lagerfeld (Chanel) which sold out worldwide within one hour.  In 2005, the success was repeated by Stella McCartney (Chloe). This year, stores will offer exclusive ranges designed and marketed by Madonna. 

Most of the merchandise offered at H&M is very young, but there always seems to be a super selection of basics and classics that defy age. Unlike Zara, elegance and sophistication are not their goals. Their aim is to offer the funky urbanite limitless creative options.  Don’t expect to hold onto your H&M  purchase for years – at budget prices, their clothes are not made to last.

My wardrobe is not complete without my playful H&M pieces. If its cutting edge trends at budget prices that you are after – H&M is the shop for you.