H&M have edge in online battle of clothing retailers
15 September 2010 | by The Retail Bulletin
H&M’s new online store will edge in front of the competition when it launches in the UK tomorrow, with the brand capitalising on recent media coverage from the announcement of its latest designer collaboration with Lanvin, suggests independent retail analyst Verdict.
The fashion r etailer’s first transactional site is the latest in a flurry of recent launches from brands such as Gap, Banana Republic and Zara. H&M have maintained news coverage of their launch by coinciding it with the announcement of their latest collaboration with Lanvin. Specifically, announcing the collections availability for preview online on the 2nd November 2010 and for sale in 200 stores globally on the 23rd November.
Charlotte Woods, analyst at Verdict said: “The collaboration with Lanvin has created a buzz around the brand which will only help build the excitement among consumers for the launch of the retailer’s first transactional site”.
“Due to the exclusive nature of the Lanvin collaborations store release it is unlikely that it will be made available for sale on the new site. Either way, the collection and the transactional site will undoubtedly prove mutually beneficial thanks to collections online preview.”
Although past collaborations have been advertised on the old H&M site, the new site will receive a greater number of visitors and provide an excellent platform for the retailer to raise consumers’ intrigue towards the Lanvin collection.
Ms Woods added: “From analysing the success of past H&M collaborations it is clear that those which delivered the greatest level of exclusivity were amongst the most successful.
“Although there were other factors at play the first collaboration with Karl Lagerfield was one of the most exclusive in terms of both range and distribution and was hugely successful as a result. Conversely, the comparative failure of the Marimekko and second phase of the Matthew Williamson collaborations can be in part attributed to their lack of exclusivity.
“Shoppers will get excited about the collection if it is rare, the moment it is available in too many stores is the when it loses its appeal and the hype starts to die.
“Although it is unclear whether the Lanvin collaboration with H&M will be available for sale online it is Verdicts recommendation that H&M avoid this strategy in order to deliver exclusivity”.
“H&M will guarantee a profitable end to the year if they are able to balance the new website and the Lanvin collection to maintain the hype.”
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