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H&M online arrives in the UK

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Fashion retailer H&M’s online store is now open for UK business.

The store has been open to newsletter subscribers for preview since September 9, but was fully launched today.

On site, a gallery of rich media content includes his and her style guides, fashion videos including blogger contributions, and a fashion studio where shoppers can work from a gallery of suggested looks to create their own.

The arrival of H&M online comes soon after Zara and GAP opened their virtual retail stores to the UK. But, says retail analyst Charlotte Woods, of Verdict, H&M is likely to edge ahead of competition thanks to its recent news that it will be launching a designer collaboration with Lanvin.

The resulting collection will be showcased in a special film that can be seen online from November 2, before going on sale in H&M shops worldwide on November 23. The site already houses advance promotional videos for the new collection.

Woods 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.”

H&M says the collection, which follows collaborations with Karl Lagerfeld, Stella McCartney and Sonia Rykiel, will be one of the “most anticipated fashion events of the year.”

Alber Elbaz, artistic director at H&M, said: “I have said in the past that I would never do a mass-market collection, but what intrigued me was the idea of H&M going luxury rather than Lanvin going public.”

Meanwhile Margareta van den Bosch, creative advisor at H&M said: “We are thrilled about Lanvin’s collection for H&M, it is such an exciting moment. “Lanvin will bring to H&M a luxurious French tradition that is also modern and playful. It is very much a Lanvin collection, using their cut and tailoring, with lots of focus on form and details for both women and men. The launch in November is going to be full of wonderful surprises.”

Our view: H&M has long been seen as late to the online shopping party in the UK – but the site unveiled today is one that at first glance seems to justify the wait. It may be late but it is not lacking in content. A variety of tools allow shoppers to view, try on and style clothes as well as simply buying them, while fashion videos and style guides also suggest ways to wear the latest trends.

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