H&M Group is launching a new retail brand: Singular Society. The Swedish label has a particular business model: customers pay a membership fee, which entitles them to a number of purchases per month. The Netflix of clothing.
Cashmere blankets through subscription
"We work like Netflix or Spotify", the founders of Singular Society announce on their website. The new Swedish retail concept, launched by a small team of retail insiders and financed by H&M Group, is indeed a revolutionary model: the products are offered as a service.
It means you have to subscribe in order to buy something. For a fixed monthly or annual fee, you can order a set number of items. For example, the basic subscription costs 114 euros per year and gives you the right to buy five items every month. There is already a flagship store in Stockholm and the webshop is dedicated to sustainable, yet luxurious Christmas presents, such as cashmere blankets, scented candles and loungewear.
Buy less but better
Strikingly enough, the founders are not after shopaholics ordering unlimitedly, but after a sustainable concept. They want consumers to buy less, but better. Singular Society thinks it can make that happen by deriving its income not from the number of transactions but from the membership fees that come in on a fixed basis.
It also ensures that the typical margin calculation is no longer necessary and that items can simply be offered at production prices. The latter, however, is difficult to verify, given that prices are nowhere to be found on the site. Notwithstanding, for each item, customers can see extensive origin information about the manufacturer and materials of the items.
For the time being, prospects can put themselves on a waiting list for becoming a subscriber. The brand has just had a 'soft launch' but wants to open up quickly to the general public. Gradually, Singular Society also wants to expand into new product categories, but always with "a timeless design, responsible production and a quality that stands the test of time."