H&Ms Outlet Brand Afound Tweaks Strategy Toward Online

STOCKHOLM—Fashion retailer H&Ms newest independent business, outlet brand Afound, will focus more on online expansion and less on physical store expansion than previously planned, it said on Oct. 8.

H&M in recent years has launched several separate brands such as Arket and H&M Home to broaden its customer base as its core H&M brand has struggled to adapt to the online shift.

Afound, launched in 2018, sells marked-down clothes from many external brands as well as from its own brands, in stores and online in home market Sweden.

“I joined the company in May and chose to review the strategy going forward,” Afound CEO Joanna Hummel told Reuters. “Now we have clarified that as we move forward, our focus is the marketplace which means that we will have a digital focus.”

“This is a conclusion weve drawn after our first year. Theres a general market trend, we draw conclusions from how we see that Afounds customers like to shop,” Hummel said.

Profit at H&M, the worlds No. 2 fashion group after Zara owner Inditex, has slid for years due to slowing sales at its core brands physical stores.

It has said that its newer brands stores have performed better. The company does not report individual results for the newer brands.

Afound—H&Ms first operation to market external brands as something more than a mere add-on to its own ranges—said in June it would enter the Netherlands this year, with an online store as a first step, as part of a long-term strategy to expand in EuRead More – Source

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