Fast-fashion H&M slow to take its clothes online

General atmosphere at the H&M's Conscious Collection Launch Event at H&M Fifth Avenue on April 4, 2013 in New York City.

Yeah, this is a story where analysts have plenty to say.  But a story full of analysts can be kind of boring.

So instead, I called up the perfect, potential, H&M online shopper, 24-year-old Sonya Laws, in Asheville, N.C. “I’m not excited enough to squeal, but I am excited,” she says. Michael Pardot, outside an H&M in Pasadena, Calif., was also amped, “it’s about time; I was waiting for it since they opened up the store.”

Why did it take H&M so long? This is where the analysts come in handy.

“You’ve got complexities in the U.S. in terms of different sales taxes, where you put your distribution centers, how you manage even more sales than you had been planning on with just your individual stores,” says Patty Edwards with Trutina Financial. 

She says H&M can’t afford to get it wrong; when you come this late to the party, you’ve got to look good. “They’ve got to be able to offer a turn-key experience that is an excellent experience right off the bat,” says Edwards.

If H&M is able to get it right, Morningstar analyst Jamie Katz says other fast-fashion is going to need to watch out. “H&M is very price cognizant,” Katz says, “they do not like to raise prices and so that means it keeps other retailers on their toes regarding pricing.”

Which could mean cheaper summer dresses for all of us.    

About the author

Adriene Hill is the senior multimedia reporter for LearningCurve.

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