H&M confirms outlet plans with Afound announcement
H&M has confirmed reports from earlier this month that it will indeed launch a multibrand online outlet for its own labels and select third parties, but has expanded on prior reports by revealing that "Afound" will also open physical stores.
Afound will be launching later this year online and its first physical store will be opening on Drottninggatan in Stockholm at the same time. It will offer "a carefully selected, season-less" range from Swedish and international brands in a variety of price segments. It will also launch unique, limited product releases from a range of brands, "all at attractive prices".
"We see big potential for Afound and are looking forward to introducing the marketplace to our audience in Sweden in 2018. Afound cares about both the value of the products and the mix. And by offering personal style inspiration, quality labels, and the sense that you’re getting a really good deal, Afound will offer a new form of off-price experience,” said Fredrik Svartling, managing director of Afound.
The confirmation comes after Swedish media outlet Breakit revealed that one of its reporters had witnessed the then unnamed business's operations in the Mall of Scandinavia. The reported claimed that the "P12" project had 60 brands signed up and was scheduled to launch in April.
Afound will be the second time H&M group has moved into the outlet business. In 1998 it launched Galne Gunnar, a low-priced chain, which comprised 20 stores selling clothes that did not fit into H&M’s regular supply. It was closed in the early 2000s.
It is also the latest in a slew of new brands to be announced by the global fashion giant. Last year it released its new department store concept ARKET, with the first store opening on Regent Street in August. It also revealed at the end of the year that it was developing a new label called /Nyden that would be targeted at millennials, designed based on input from influencers and customer data and would be sold online only and at targeted pop-up events.
The news of Afound's launch comes as H&M reveals its financial figures for 2017, which show sales including VAT increased by 4% to SEK 231,771m in the financial year.