H&M BEGINS BIG SUMMER SPLASH

Byline: Lisa Lockwood

NEW YORK — Get ready for “Beach Blanket Bingo,” Swedish style.
H&M, the hot Swedish purveyor of disposable chic that hit U.S. shores last month, has turned its thoughts to summer.
A new worldwide campaign featuring a bikini-clad Gisele Bundchen broke here this week and runs through May in the U.S. It will run throughout May and June in Europe.
The beach party influence is evident throughout the ads in sexy bikinis, bright colors, strappy sandals, silky dresses, tops and skirts and crop trousers.
H&M will roll out an aggressive outdoor campaign in the New York area, with images on taxi tops, bus shelters, telephone kiosks and Super King buses. Ads will also run in Time Out, the Journal News and the Bergen Record. The retailer will blitz Europe with outdoor ads through May and June.
A spokesman declined to reveal H&M’s media budget.
The women’s campaign was photographed by Mikael Jansson in Brazil. A separate men’s campaign, featuring Jason Muhlberger, was shot in London by Swedish photographer Magnus Marding.
The $3.9 billion retailer operates 700 stores in 12 countries. In the U.S., there are three stores, and several more on the way.
In late March, H&M opened a three-level, 35,000-square-foot flagship at 640 Fifth Avenue and this month, a 35,000-square-foot store at Palisades Mall in West Nyack, N.Y., and a 14,000-square-foot store at Garden State Plaza in Paramus, N.J.
Future sites here include a 40,000-square-foot unit on West 34th Street, between Fifth and Sixth Avenues, and a 35,000-square-foot store in the former Alexander’s site on Lexington Avenue at 58th Street. Company officials declined to reveal other locations, but sources say H&M plans to open several hundred stores in the U.S. in the next few years.