High street brands H&M; and Zara are to launch online stores next year.
Two of the UK’s most popular high street brands, H&M; and Zara, will next year set up shop in the world’s busiest market place: the world wide web.
The long-awaited move by both companies is a bid to satisfy customer demand and an attempt to offset the negative effects of the recession.
In the case of H&M;, which originated in Sweden, the plan was buoyed by better-than-expected third-quarter profits. According to drapersonline.com, H&M; has this year opened 85 stores and closed nine, with the total now numbering 1,840.
Spanish label Zara, meanwhile, is joining the digital revolution as part of a shake-up by parent company Inditex. Kicking off with online sales in the UK, Spain, France, Germany, Italy and Portugal, the initiative will eventually be rolled out globally.
Issuing the group’s financial report to analysts last week, Inditex’s CEO and Deputy Chairman, Pablo Isla, called the launch, “An important strategic step, in line with the Inditex Group’s constant daily search to offer the best service to clients worldwide.”
With both sites on-track to launch with the stores’ autumn/winter 2010 collections late next year, we’re trying not to get too excited just yet, but we can’t help but fantasise about how much more exciting our virtual lunchtime shopping trips are about to become.
Large picture: H&M;, autumn/winter 2009
Small picture: Zara, autumn/winter 2009