A teaser of & Other Stories Shanghai store, opening this fall.

LONDON — Premiumization is on the agenda of Swedish fast-fashion giant Hennes & Mauritz AB’s China expansion plan.

After entering the market with a Tmall store in 2019, & Other Stories, H&M’s sister brand, will open its first physical China store in Shanghai this coming fall with a full selection of accessories, bags, jewelry, shoes and ready-to-wear collections, WWD can exclusively reveal.

The new store will be located in upscale shopping mall iAPM on Huaihai Road, one of the busiest shopping destinations in the city. The Sun Hung Kai Properties-owned development hosts an array of luxury brands, such as Prada, Gucci and Valentino; a dozen trendy restaurants; a movie theater; a supermarket, and an Apple store.

H&M opened its first China outlet on the same street in 2007.

Karolina Gutke, managing director of & Other Stories, said because of the success of its digital experiment, opening a physical store in China is necessary in order to “share a more complete vision of our world.”

“We already feel right at home on the market and now we look forward to meeting our fashion-loving Chinese customer in person,” she added.

Founded in 2013 and aimed at fashion-conscious women with a “personal look,” & Other Stories opened its first store on London’s Regent Street, and expanded into Asia with a 7,100-square-foot, three-floor flagship in Seoul, South Korea, in 2017.

The brand now operates 72 stores worldwide.

Following & Other Stories’ trajectory, H&M’s other premium offering Arket, which entered the Chinese market shortly after & Other Stories in April 2020, will also be opening a new flagship store in Beijing this fall.

Pernilla Wohlfahrt, Arket’s managing director said “The new store gives us an opportunity to welcome people into our world and invite them to experience the rich diversity of our collections – from beautifully-made fabrics and fashion designs to nature-inspired interiors, sustainable childrenswear, and contemporary Swedish cuisine.’”

In recent years, faced with fierce competition from local players, global fast fashion companies have been forced to make big changes with their portfolios in order to stay competitive in China.

Inditex earlier confirmed the speculation, first reported by WWD, that it is shutting all of its Bershka, Pull&Bear and Stradivarius China Stores by the end of this year. Instead, these brands will focus on strengthening their e-commerce presences in the market.

Meanwhile, Zara opened its largest store in Asia in Beijing’s Wangfujing Street, one of the most famous shopping streets in China, with a focus on the branded experience to continue to appeal to China’s increasingly sophisticated and picky shoppers.


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