H&M has been on a downhill tumble both financially and in the public’s eye since the racial ad and following events. It was clearly evident in Hennes & Mauritz Ab’s recent annual report, and it’ll worsen in the following months if H&M continues down this slippery slope. In the recent review of the latest financial results, Karl-Johan Persson, CEO of H&M’s parent company, commented:
“The weakness was in H&M’s physical stores where the changes in customer behavior are being felt most strongly and footfall has reduced with more sales online. In addition, some imbalances in certain aspects of the H&M brand’s assortment and composition also contributed to this weaker result.”
With more disappointment to follow, the company has announced it will close 170 stores, their largest number since 1998; however, they also will be opening 390 new ones. The company did not state which stores will be closing but they did hint that they are located within their major market, which the U.S. and Germany fall under.
Consumers, however, aren’t reading the financial reports but rather reading the look of H&M’s messy brick and mortar stores. Some believe that part of the reason H&M is struggling is their lack of keeping up with the fashion scene. Michael Dart, co-author of “Retail’s Seismic Shift,” elaborated:
“Consumers have felt that H&M has been somewhat drab and not on trend as much as competitors. With slower supply chain (unlike super-fast Zara), they have not responded as quickly to rapid shifts in taste and increasing fragmentation in the consumer market with many more small segments. As a result, they have had more markdowns, promotions and less inspiration for the consumer. It’s a formula for sagging results.”
The problem could lie with other factors, but for the time being it is safe to say H&M is on the come down after many years of successful fast fashion.
Though European brands are at the center of high-end menswear, there is little recognition to European brands from countries like Denmark, Sweden and Norway. Here are four Scandinavian brands who will surely catch the eyes of the public this upcoming year.
Tiger of Sweden
This brand was founded back in 1903 in Uddevalla, Sweden as a tailoring house. The label went into a renewal process back in the early 1990s, focusing most of its efforts on modernization. Recently, Burberry alum and Swedish man Christoffer Lundman took the reins of the company. Today, the it’s a well-established brand that produces classic wear while offering slim-silhouette suiting and separates. Some styles they offer are the Lamonte wool check suit ($825), velvet blazer ($550) and a cotton striped Farrell button-down shirt ($170). All the looks are available at ssense.
Mismo was established in 2006 and was based out of Copenhagen. This fashion brand offers accessories for men on the go. Most of the label’s collection includes a wide range of travel bags, including chic backpacks, totes and briefcases, it also has a wide selection of wallets, tech cases and belts. The brand uses a premium, durable canvas and leather to craft all of its pieces. The brand’s simple offerings are made to last a long time and be durable. Some notable pieces of the brand are a utility tote ($635), the MS Sprint backpack ($721) and MS Weekend bag ($485).
Stutterheim was launched back in 2010, making it the youngest brand on this list. Alexander Stutterheim found his grandfather’s 1960s-era fisherman’s raincoat at an abandoned family barn, which gave him the inspiration to launch an outerwear company. Within just a couple of years, the brand’s waterproof handmade coats and jackets caught the attention of Barneys New York, earned the praise of Kanye West and even led to a collaboration with Jay Z– now the collection is available globally. Last month, the brand launched the Stutterheim x Marni capsule collection in partnership with the playful Italian brand. The collection includes a number of colorful coats (from $790).
Lindeberg is a brand based out of Stockholm that has a passion for putting stylish tailoring into active wear, and it does so without taking away from functionality. The label was founded around 20 years ago and is available today in over 900 stores across the world. J. Lindeberg offers a range of clothing from slim-cut velvet pants and wool mohair blazers to high-performance ski and golf outwear. Some of the brand’s most notable pieces are the Crillon 2L Down Jacket ($800), Mixed Hybrid Jacket ($295) and Paclite Pants ($375).