ARKET’S ARRIVAL: Arket, H&M’s new concept store, is poised to open the doors to its first flagship in London on Aug. 25. The brand will debut its clothing range in-store and on the label’s web site.
“London is a truly cosmopolitan city where we can reach a broad and international audience,” said Ulrika Bernhardtz, creative director at Arket. “We were extremely lucky to find our location on the corner of Regent Street and opposite the iconic Liberty building. We will also open our second London store in Covent Garden later this autumn.”
Bernhardtz said that they have been developing and building this brand for over two years with a focus on the London store and 18 European markets. Arket — which means “sheet of paper” in Swedish — focuses on a range of basic key items for men, women and children. The collection is priced at a slightly higher price point than the H&M brand, but along the lines of sister label Cos.
“We are confident in the concept we are launching,” said Bernhardtz. “But naturally are eager to listen to customer feedback and observe how things work in all stores as we open them. We believe that the brand will complement the existing retail market by offering a destination, one that goes beyond apparel and addresses the needs of a customer who has high demands but little time.”
“To us, Arket represents a modern-day market — both physical and digital — offering a broad but carefully curated assortment of products,” added Bernhardtz. “We wish to address the needs of a customer who has high demands but little time, this has resulted in our assortment being created to simplify choices rather than overwhelm customers. We believe our customers are looking for quality as a broader concept and part of this is building a wardrobe to last for a long time, filled with fewer but more versatile pieces they can keep coming back to.”
Located at 224 Regent Street in the former Banana Republic space, the 10,763-square-foot store spans two floors. The flagship features a minimalist aesthetic with soft gray walls and sleek lighting fixtures done in the same hue. The first floor houses men’s wear, home items and the café while the second floor carries women’s wear and children’s wear.
It will stock the label’s own range of minimalist Scandi-inspired clothing as well as a selection of shoes, accessories and home ware from brands including Adidas, Converse, Nike, Reebok and Trickers alongside niche labels such as Brio, Goki and Hario. The location will include a café that takes its cue from the New Nordic Food Manifesto.
Bernhardtz pointed to well fitted trousers and a trench coat among the key pieces in the range and said the latter was a classic piece “where functional details meets beauty.”
The brand utilizes an archival system for its range with each item assigned a nine-digit code to assist shoppers. Each product is organized by department, category, item and material. Prices range from 39 euros for a women’s poplin shirt to to 290 euros for a women’s padded parka coat.
Bernhardtz said future openings include a store in Brussels, Copenhagen and Munich. The brand plans to launch a store in Stockholm in 2018.
Arket is among the seven brands in the H&M portfolio including H&M, Cos, & Other Stories, Monki, Weekday, Cheap Monday and H&M Home. The head office and design studio is based in Stockholm. The company employs about 130 staff members comprised of designers, chefs, architects, buyers and writers.