E-commerce may be welcoming a new competitor this year—H&M Group—which is working to disrupt digital commerce with trendy and affordable fashion for consumers.
According to Swedish media outlet Breakit, H&M Group is developing a new e-commerce outlet platform dubbed “P12,” where consumers can buy branded apparel at discounted prices. The platform, which is set to launch in April, has reportedly signed up 63 brands, including Nordic e-commerce giant NA-KD. However, H&M Group has not confirmed which brands will be working with P12 in the coming months.
A source told Breakit that P12 could be a digital version of Galne Gunnar, H&M Group’s low-price chain that closed down in the early 2000s. Similar to Galne Gunnar, P12 would purchase merchandise from participating e-commerce brands and sell them at more affordable prices on its website. This retail strategy may boost H&M Group’s sales and enable it to reach more consumers worldwide in a digital environment.
Despite Breakit’s media report, H&M Group declined to comment on P12 and its development plans.
“What we can comment at this stage is that we are always working with lots of interesting ideas, but we can’t comment on rumors,” said H&M Group press officer Lena Enocson Almroth. “When we have something concrete to say, we will do so.”
[Read more about H&M’s retail efforts: H&M Adds Image Recognition in More Markets for Seamless Shopping]
H&M Group’s rumored project comes on the heels of other brand milestones. Last fall, H&M Group said it would launch a new brand this year, without comment on the brand’s name or concept. In March 2017, H&M Group announced the debut of Arket, its modern-day market brand that sells children’s, women’s and men’s products. The brand, which is available online in 18 European countries and has multiple locations across the continent, aims to deliver functional and long-lasting products for consumers’ wardrobes and homes. Previously, H&M Group also launched other in-house brands, including COS and & Other Stories, which target modern consumers.
In reporting third quarter results in September, H&M Group said an omnichannel approach that includes continued integration and development of its online and physical stores drove sales gains, and that it continues to improve its online store and is adding more and faster delivery options, while at the same time further broadening the range of products online.
H&M Group’s sales for the third quarter ended Aug. 31 increased 5 percent to $7.3 billion and the company noted that rapid and profitable growth of the group’s online sales, which in some established markets already account for 25 percent to 30 percent of total revenue, helped drive the gains.
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