Cos is coming into its own.
The younger, more sophisticated sibling of H&M is ready to expand in the U.S. and around the world. The international brand plans to open 27 units by the end of this year — its biggest expansion to date.
The growth comes at a time when H&M is rolling out & Other Stories, and in April, the retailer said it will accelerate the U.S. growth of its Cheap Monday denim-driven brand.
According to reports, H&M is also exploring options to launch a new brand that will be different from any of its existing concepts and could bow in 2017.
With nine Cos stores unveiled earlier this year, the addition of 27 brings a total of 36 stores planned for 2015. Of those, 13 units will be in Europe, seven in Asia, six in North America, including two stores in Canada — a new market — and one in Australia. The Czech Republic, Luxembourg and Hungary are also new markets for the brand.
Cos will unveil this fall a 3,982-square-foot location on Fifth Avenue and the corner of 42nd Street, its second store in Manhattan. A 4,165-square-foot unit, its second California store will bow during the same period at South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, Calif. Both stores will offer men’s and women’s wear.
Cos launched in the U.S. in 2014 with stores on Spring Street in New York and North Beverly Drive in Los Angeles. An e-commerce site also launched last year.
The brand will enter two new U.S. markets in the fall. A 2,960-square-foot two level store on Newbury Street in Boston will house the women’s and men’s wear collections. A 4,380-square-foot Cos will open in River Oaks District, a highly anticipated 295,000-square-foot upscale shopping center in Houston now nearing completion. Cos will sell both men’s wear and women’s wear at River Oaks, where confirmed tenants include Cartier, Dior, Hermès, Intermix, Stella McCartney, Tom Ford and Van Cleef & Arpels, according to developer Oliver McMillan.
Cos is known for timeless and modern collections using elevated materials such as leather, suede, fine suiting and cashmere at affordable prices. Stores reflect the design ethos with the use of natural materials and minimal features within the shop interiors.
“We are very pleased with the brand’s growth since our launch in the U.S in 2014 and we look forward to introducing Cos to new neighborhoods and cities this fall,” said Marie Honda, Cos managing director, said of the expansion.
Cos plans to expand its footprint in existing markets with two new units in Belgium, two in France, four in China and two in Korea. The Swedish brand has leased a store at the Stockholm Mall of Scandinavia, and will unveil shops in Milan; Graz, Austria; Budapest, Hungary; Gdynia Klif, Poland, Sydney and Singapore. A Cos store is planned for Izmir Point Bornova in Turkey and a concession will bow in the Netherlands.
The company sees potential to grow further in cities such as New York and Los Angeles.
Honda said the Cos customer has an international mind-set and is curious about what’s happening around them.
Cos is flexible enough to experiment with different store designs and adjusts them to conditions in various markets. The retailer tried out several concepts in London and other cities. “The size of a full-concept store is 4,500 square feet,” Honda said. “In Amsterdam, it’s hard to find a large store. We have a smaller concept store. In London on King’s Road we have a women’s-only store that’s 2,690 square feet. It’s a statement.”