- Simone Preuss |
Swedish fashion group H&M proved it is not superstituous by opening the first store of its new lifestyle brand Arket at Weinstraße 6 in Munich on Friday, 13th October 2017. The first 100 visitors received a gift.
The new German flagship store extends over four floors and a total sales area of 1,000 square meters. It offers women's, men's and children's wear, as well as household items and articles from other brands, such as Nike, Veja and Adidas, which fit the Arket concept. Unlike the H&M brand, the Arket range does not change every few weeks, but can also go beyond one season. The new store in Munich is open daily from 10 am to 8 pm and closed on Sundays.
As in the other Arket stores, the interior is minimalistic: The brand believes in shelves and clothes racks in neutral gray and white tones rather than mannequins or colourful displays. Products are neatly stacked and sorted by colour, as is the search in the new webshop, which also offers searches by pattern or material. Somehow, one is reminded of a fashion archive rather than a store.
"Arket is a modern day market that focuses on: simple, timeless and functional designs; aiming to democratise quality via widely accessible, well-made products designed to be worn and adored for a long time. Their offering includes essential products for men, women, children and the home," commented H&M about its new brand at the beginning of August.
Those who may need to recover from this shock may do so at the in-house café; a combination of fashion and food that is new. Here, customers can refresh and recharge themselves inbetween shopping. But those expecting fast food are in for another shock: The café is based on the new Nordic cuisine and promises high-quality ingredients and a healthy lifestyle. Thus, the menu includes goat's cheese and avocado sandwiches, flatbreads, salads, but also yoghurt desserts, cookies, coffee and tea.
H&M is not only distancing itself from the fast-paced culture with its new brand when it comes to food but also in fashion as the Swedish clothing company is moving away from the fast fashion concept with Arket. This is already apparent from the outside: Instead of the widely visible red lettering, Arket is written rather modestly in quite small, black, uppercase letters. But the new location on Weinstraße 6 near the Frauenkirche is within walking distance of the main, five-storey H&M store towards Odeonsplatz or Cos in the direction of Marienplatz, which stretches over three floors.
With the addition of its new Arket concept, H&M covers all bases when it comes to price: with H&M as a cost-effective fast fashion brand at the bottom and Cos as a luxury line for establishing one's classic, basic wardrobe at the top, and now Arket as a "modern marketplace" and supplier of the "ideal everyday uniform" in the mid price range with "high-quality and sustainable fashion".
The worldwide first Arket flagshipstore opened on 25th August 2017 on London's Regent Street; further openings followed in September in Copenhagen's Kopmagergade 33, in Brussels on the Avenue de la Toison D'Or 15 and another store in Long Acre, London. A first store in the company's home market Sweden is yet to open on Biblioteksgatan in Stockholm. Since August 25, the Arket website including a webshop is also active, initially supplying 18 European markets.Photos: Arket website & Arket Facebook page