The Swedish fashion giant, Hennes & Mauritz (known as H&M), has conquered the rest of the world and now wants to claim Australia. H&M is coming to Australia The first H&M store opened in Sweden in 1947 and now has approximately 2800 stores worldwide, with Australia being the only continent yet to have the H&M experience. This was to be expected after another European hotshot, Zara, touched down in Australia only a short time ago. Zara is up to seven stores around Australia and sales here have surpassed those of their stores anywhere else in the world! Apparently they are charging us more here for their clothing than if we were to purchase it overseas. We don’t seem to care as it’s all still very affordable, stylish fashion. British retail giant, Topshop, also moved into Australia in 2011. Topshop is proving to be quite popular with the young Aussies with their trendy British style, backed by the likes of Kate Moss (British supermodel). Their most famous collaboration was with Mary Katranzou a couple of years ago, seeing a lot of the range selling out quickly. There is little competition for these two overseas labels … until H&M move in. The Melbourne store opened on the 05/04/2014! We’re going be treated to a great battle for the hard earned dollars of Australian fashionistas. Fashion in Australia is just about to get so much more exciting! Update: H&M Sydney store to open on the 16. October 2014 in the Macquare Centre in the north western suburbs of Sydney (North Ryde). This will be the second H&M store in Australia. H&M opening in Melbourne – the GPO building And what an entrance H&M is going to make. They are taking over the whole of the GPO building in our busy Burke Street Mall! Close to Zara, Myer and David Jones … a very interesting location! If you’ve never been into an H&M store before, they normally span up three levels. The leases of the current retailers in the GPO building got terminated to make space for H&M. Not a very nice move … They will offer their full range: women’s wear, men’s wear, children’s wear, baby wear, towels, bedding and loads of other great stuff. One of the biggest stores worldwide will open here in Australia. I hope H&M did some market research for their store location. Only one big store in Melbourne does not sound right to me. The parking there might be more expensive than the clothes you will buy. Australia is a little different to Europe – where you go to the main shopping strip in the CBD to go shopping. Not so in Melbourne – when have you been last time in the CBD? The best thing about H&M is that their quality goods are pretty affordable. Try their organic cotton underwear, they’ve got me hooked. Let’s just hope that they don’t do what Zara did and hit us with the “Australia Tax” (retailers just charging more in Australia for the same goods than in other countries … it’s not actually a tax … just profit making”! The volatile Australian Dollar does not help.) The location they have chosen suggests already higher prices! We will see soon. I hope I am wrong as the price point is what made them successful in other countries. What’s all the hype about H&M? They’re usually cheap. Even with their upper end “Conscious” collection and “Conscious Exclusive” collection they are far cheaper than other retailers offering similar items. Their Conscious collection range keeps things eco-friendly, using sustainable materials such as organic cotton, hemp, recycled textiles and polyester chiffon. This Conscious Exclusive range is absolutely divine and you’ll want to wear it to special events such as gallery openings, cocktail parties or the races. Supermodel Amber Valetta has been announced as the new face of H&M’s Conscious Exclusive Collection in 2014. She was chosen because she is a sustainability conscious fashionista. With such a beauty as Amber modeling their clothes, this collection is sure to sell out. H&M has had previous collaborations with big fashion names such as Versace, Jimmy Choo, Lanvin and Stella McCartney – just to name a few. This year, H&M have chosen a sustainable fashion designer, Ever Manifesto, to collaborate with. So what makes H&M finally take a step onto the Australian turf? Maybe it’s the realisation that people are becoming a bit more price sensitive. There’s been a huge move of people into online shopping, forcing a lot of labels to come crashing down. Included in the crash are Lisa Ho, Kirrily Johnston, Bettina Liano and Ojay. Lets hope that this trend does not have a huge effect on quality clothes which will be still in demand – there will be a market for high quality fashion – at a higher price point. Australian consumers are in search of value for money and H&M are offering just that. There seems to be a lot of confidence in the Australian market as they are setting up in a location which would charge exorbitant rent. There is no doubt that we are going to lap up what H&M will dish out for us. To sweeten their arrival, we will be treated to an exclusive collection – yes, just for us! [big_text] What is you experience with H&M clothes? [/big_text] [big_text] What do you think about the first Australian H&M store in Melbourne? [/big_text] [big_text] Let me know in the comments.[/big_text] (Disclaimer: The pics you see here were taken at my last visit in Europe … when you know the GPO building you can expect the H&M store in Melbourne to look far more impressive.) http://kittysdrawings.com Esz I might check it out once the hype has worn down. I visited H&M in Vienna and didn’t have the time to go through everything. I fear the “Australia Tax” too – I don’t doubt we’ll be slugged with it by H&M too. Can you imagine the hissy fit other retail giants would have if their prices were considerably lower than everything else? Considering they got so huffy about Australians shopping online (remember the Harvey Norman whinging?). Yet out of that argument, some of the stores upped their game. Myer’s online shopping is getting a lot better now. Anyway – I found H&M a bit too plain for my taste back a few years ago so I think I might not be that wowed – but will be worth checking out. As long as there isn’t queues!! http://www.fabulous-femme.com/ Fabulous-Femme Hi Esz, I’m not into queues for fashion stores either! H&M is the go-to store for essentials so it is pretty casual. This might go down well with Australians as everywhere I look, people are not too dressed up these days! Competition between these retail giants can only mean that we, the consumers, get a better deal : ) Miette – polkarocks.com Hey Souri, have you had a chance the store? Would be very interested in hearing your feedback. Just like you, I am worried about the ‘Australia tax” impact on prices… http://www.fabulous-femme.com/ Fabulous-Femme Hi Miette, I still haven’t made it to the Melbourne store. I’m still hearing about the queues! Guess I’ll wait a little longer. I’m off to Europe in a couple of weeks so I’ll do next season’s H&M shopping while I’m there! http://www.fabulous-femme.com/ Fabulous-Femme Still haven’t been to the H&M in Melbourne. They will open more stores (some already in planning) and I will not need to queue up to purchases something :-). It’s good to see that the prices are reasonable … will be interesting to see if the Australian collection differs from the European collection in the future. Paul Rees I shopped at H&M GPO this evening (Friday) no queue at all. Store was busy but not a big queue at the register. I was told a couple of interesting things by an English assistant who had been brought out by H&M for the opening. She told me that originally she was to stay two weeks, but because the store has been busier than they expected they have asked some of the international staff to stay on longer. She also said that H&M plan to open 25 stores in Australia next year, and the Sydney store would be opening sooner than expected but she didn’t say when. http://www.fabulous-femme.com/ Fabulous-Femme H&M are going to do really well in Australia. Australians love to look good on a bargain. If they manage to keep their prices low and comparable to their overseas prices, consumers will lap it up. Jennifer Finally managed to visit H&M as I wanted to see if it lived up to all the hype. Spoke to a couple of my UK friends who couldn’t understand the fuss as it is considered a downmarket cheap chain store over there. I thought I would visit anyway as I like to form my own opinions. Anyway, I couldn’t get out fast enough and definitely won’t be shopping there. An untidy mess of racks with boring, cheap and nasty looking clothing. I was really disappointed – nothing inspiring, original or stylish and the colours are just plain boring. What a shame they have destroyed the beautiful little shops that used to to be there. We seem to be overrun by these large cheap chain stores with mass produced cheap and nast clothing. I will definitely be seeking out the original designers and supporting them – even if I have to pay a little bit more!! http://www.fabulous-femme.com/ Fabulous-Femme H&M is definitely not for those who are seeking originality and high quality! It is affordable fashion which will allow shoppers to look smart without costing them a fortune (if they pick out the right pieces!). Their ‘Conscious Exclusive’ collection can be quite lovely, but I think that we will always miss out on the best pieces as they sell out quickly overseas and we are always one season behind! Evelyn (cottoncandydiva) I went there today for the first time and I love it! There was a particular skirt I was after, after a few laps of the ground floor I found it. Because of the sheer volume of stock, it’s hard to find something you’re looking for (definitely better for browsing, without any ‘plan’ really.) I guess I was just lucky to finally find what I was looking for. The store is quite overwhelming, but in a good way like ‘omg so much clothes and so affordable’ I will definitely be back. BTW I do most of my shopping while in Melb, in the city. I love Melbourne Central and Bourke st. So people definitely still shop in the city! It’s busy every time I’m there http://www.fabulous-femme.com/ Fabulous-Femme I have still not been to the Melbourne store! Hopefully I’ll find time soon. It may seem that the European stores are better laid out as I was able to find items which I wanted easily (while I was in Germany). H&M has it’s moments. I came out with quite a few pieces from my recent trip to Germany, whereas in the past, I’ve walked out quite empty handed.