H&M has developed for smaller cities, focusing on the interaction between physical and digital channels. The Swedish chain now brings that concept to Belgium, opening a first store in Turnhout later this week.
Customer behaviour changes
On Thursday 23 November, the H&M store in Turnhout will reopen after a thorough renovation, following a compact boutique concept that the retailer developed for smaller cities. The fashion chain claims that this concept better suits the changing customer behaviour: the store is a place of interaction and inspiration, where omni-channel is central.
“We want to introduce a new, compact store format that is at the other end of the spectrum compared to our larger stores”, says Country Manager H&M Belgium, Pär Lindback. “In doing so, we are mainly aiming at smaller cities, where we want to work with a concept that is ‘easier’ for the customer. We have developed this format worldwide and we are proud to launch it in Belgium this year.”
The right format in the right location
In the new store, customers still see the complete physical fashion range – with the women’s, men’s, children’s, Divided and H&M Beauty collections. In addition, they also have access to online services and collections, such as click&collect via Budbee-lockers, online returns and the H&M app. Digital terminals allow shoppers to place orders on the website.
In an interview with RetailDetail earlier this year, the retailer had already announced the new format – after all, stores must continue to meet the expectations of local consumers, which is why H&M is diversifying its store concepts. “The old adage has changed: in the period before digitisation, everything was just about location, location, location. Now a combination of location and format is key. In smaller towns, we have different shops than in bigger cities, where we want to increase the in-store experience”, Lindback said then.