- A retail establishment begun in 1847 by Earl Persson in Sweden. By 2005, H&M (Hennes & Mauritz) was Europe's largest retailer with 1,193 stores worldwide and its niche was fashion at a price. In 2004, H&M signed a deal with Karl Lagerfeld to design an inexpensive line for its stores and, in 2005, launched a limited edition collection with British designer Stella McCartney. H&M attributes its success as a fashion retail leader in part to these limited-edition designer collaborations. H&M has discovered that such one-time designer partnerships are a key venue to stimulate consumer interest in physically visiting the retail establishment. In 2006, H&M continued with this marketing strategy by teaming up with Viktor & Rolf to create a price-conscience designer wedding gown. The company also recognizes the draw of celebrity connections. It collaborated with music icon Madonna for tracksuits sold in stores, which she wore on and off of the stage. In the world of twenty-first-century online buying, H&M has tapped into a successful venue for customer connection. It also has been proactive on the Internet front and opened its first online boutique in the Netherlands in 2006. Its main competition is Spanish retailer Zara.
Historical Dictionary of the Fashion Industry. Francesca Sterlacci and Joanne Arbuckle.