Hennes & Mauritz is expanding the Manhattan footprint of two retail formats that are relatively new to the U.S., COS and & Other Stories.
The fast-fashion retailer has shuttered its H&M store at 505 Fifth Avenue at the corner of 42nd Street and will install COS and & Other Stories in the 24,000-square-foot space. It’s the first time H&M has opened a dual concept store in this country.
The location will be the second in Manhattan for both COS and & Other Stories. COS,, which stands for Collection of Style, opened its first U.S. unit at 129 Spring Street in SoHo in 2014. The retailer’s designs have a clean, minimal style and price points slightly higher than H&M’s.
“& Other Stories has been well received and will be expanding,” Kulle said of the brand, which unveiled its first U.S. unit in Manhattan’s SoHo in October. “New York is an important fashion destination for us and it’s honor to open a second store in this inspiring city,” said a spokeswoman for & Other Stories.
Daniel Kulle, president of H&M North America , also said recently that the company is planning to accelerate the U.S. growth of the denim-driven retail concept, Cheap Monkey.
It’s unusual for the Swedish company to close H&M locations. The retailer operates cluster systems with several stores in close proximity in areas with high foot traffic.
“The well-being of our employees is our top priority,” an H&M spokeswoman said. “All of our employees from the Fifth Avenue location have been given options to relocate to comparable positions in stores in the surrounding areas.”
“The U.S. is one of the biggest expansion markets for H&M and it has been in operation for over 15 years,” the spokeswoman said. “Store closing can be a natural occurrence as countries become more mature and [we] continue to open stores in close proximity to each other. Our goal is to concentrate on our business in the nearby stores to better serve our customers. There are currently 12 stores in Manhattan.”
H&M doesn’t seem to be slowing down. Parent Hennes & Mauritz reported a 20 percent increase in revenues for the second quarter ended May 31. In local currency terms, sales including VAT rose by 10 percent during the period, with calendar effects shaving 2 percent points off the increase during the quarter. With 360 stores in the U.S., H&M plans to open 60 additional units in 2015.
H&M in May unveiled its largest store in the world, a 65,000-square-foot giant in Herald Square on the corner of West 34th Street, where Broadway and Avenue of the Americas converge. At the opening, Kulle said that two existing H&M stores, at 1293 Broadway at West 34th Street, and 435 Seventh Avenue at West 34th Street, would continue operating.
The retailer’s 57,000-square-foot unit on Fifth Avenue and 48th Street, which previously held the title of world’s biggest H&M store, might have been too close to the Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street’s backyard. There’s also a unit at 4 Times Square at Broadway.
“Our decision is not based on a specific store’s traffic or demand,” the spokeswoman said. “After considering several options, closing this store was decided to be the best business decision. Store closings can be [a] natural occurrence and we will drive our customers to the other 12 locations in Manhattan. At this time we have no plans to close other stores in Manhattan.”