H&M locks in Australian store date following local e-commerce launch

Swedish fashion giant H&M has locked in the date it will open its first Australian store, following the launch of its Australian-specific website earlier this week.

The retailer will stamp its ground at Melbourne’s GPO Building on April 5, opening its doors to consumers at 10am.

Earlier this week the retailer launched a dedicated Australian website to cater for local shoppers offering seasonally aligned products. On the site was an “Australian Exclusive” range of winter apparel for both men and women, with prices ranging from around $12.95 for accessories up to around $269 for a jacket.

In line with the announcement of its store launch date, H&M also launched a competition in conjunction with Vogue Australia so customers have a chance to win tickets and flights to the VIP launch party. It has taken a social media marketing approach to the competition, asking entrants to post their best fashion images on Instagram with a specific H&M hashtag.

ISPT, the operator of the GPO Building, said the new H&M store would occupy 5000m2 of space in the heritage-listed building.

When H&M first announced it would launch in Australia, ISPT retail asset manager Sam Curry said the store would help boost the Melbourne CBD precinct.

“We are delighted to have this opportunity to introduce such a famous and highly anticipated international fashion retailer to the Australian market,” Curry said.

H&M is just one of many international retailers taking a serious approach to its launch on the Australian market.

Scandinavian label COS recently announced it would launch its first Australian store in Melbourne, while Japanese retailer Uniqlo is also set to open this year.

Retail Doctor Group director Brian Walker recently told SmartCompany that the international brands coming to Australia were no longer just competing with Australian brands, but with their biggest international rivals.

He said local brands such as Country Road and Cue will be keeping a close eye on H&M and COS as they could tap into a similar market to what they are reaching.

H&M was founded in 1947 and is the world’s largest clothing group. It is still partly owned by the family of the original founder. The company has over 2900 stores in 51 countries.

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