H&M has opened a new type of store experience that will be updated with new fashions, visuals, events and neighborhood partners throughout the year.
Located in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, New York, the 7,000-plus sq. ft. store will feature the brand’s most fashionable styles and host exclusive programming in a space designed to evolve throughout the year. Every four to 12 weeks H&M will unveil a new "chapter,” bringing to life a new store concept “that moves at the speed of style,” the retailer said. The store will be open through January 2024.
The first "chapter" of H&M Williamsburg celebrates the brand’s holiday campaign and will run from December 1 to December 30. Called "Brasserie Hennes,” and inspired by a wintery French brasserie, the space features items from H&M's holiday collections and a curated market of local Williamsburg merchants selling seasonal goods, including scents, home goods, vintage pieces, gourmet foods, accessories and beauty products. (The market will be open from December 1 to December 30.)
Starting in January, H&M Williamsburg will offer unique consumer activations starting in 2023 to elevate the store experience, occurring two times a week and focusing on culture and community. The events will center around art, fashion, and music as well as local businesses and personalities. A neighborhood partner will curate new weekly offerings for events each Friday, including DJs, artists, and style makers who will contextualize their "chapter" for both the general public and VIP guests.
Additionally, beginning in the new year, partner activations from three local Brooklyn-based brands will have their own dedicated space in the store. The featured partners will provide the essentials that have come to define the perfect day out in Williamsburg, the company said, including a coffee station, a magazine rack and music that serves as the soundtrack for the space.
H&M Williamsburg will also feature the latest in retail technology for an easy shopping experience. The use of RFID will give store employees full visibility of inventory and size options in real time.
Along with the option for mobile payment from anywhere in the store, the store offers smart mirrors in the fitting rooms that identify customers' products, including the size and color, and provide personalized product or styling recommendations. The smart mirrors use the same RFID technology to gather information about what items a customer has brought into the fitting room and the mirrors collect only product data.
"With H&M Williamsburg we threw out the traditional store playbook to build something unexpected that embodies who we are as a brand today," said Linda Li, head of customer activation & marketing for H&M Americas.
"After collaborating on so many successful projects over the last fifteen years with H&M, we're thrilled that our Williamsburg-born and based agency, The Gathery, was tapped to bring this creative and progressive endeavor to life in our own neighborhood," says Nicky Balestrieri, co-founder of The Gathery. "We've long known that the future of retail is in experience, so to join forces on a project like this, ultimately benefiting our community, was a no-brainer.”