H&M’s new homeware flagship on London’s Regent Street focusses on high style over high tech. Innovation researcher Harriet Cox went along to check it out.
Coming just months after the brand opened its first dedicated Home store at Westfield London Shepherd’s Bush, H&M’s second two-floor, 700 square metre interiors emporium marks a breakaway from it simply being an add-on category to its fashion label, placing it firmly in the spotlight.
On entering the store, the first thing you notice is that it feels more premium than your average H&M fashion experience. The luxe detailing in the monochrome interior creates a good blank canvas to elevate the reasonably priced products on offer and a curated selection of pieces from other brands are peppered throughout the homeware collections complementing the range.
Designed to deliver a heavy dose of interiors inspiration, the store features styled room sets with the stock displayed market hall-style nearby. Products on offer include the brand’s new range of furniture and lighting, kitchen and tableware, linens, accessories and soft furnishings.
A menu of in-store services has been placed on a table-scape to let customers know that they can purchase and pick up items later on, personalise textile purchases using a monogramming service and opt to have items delivered to home as well as worldwide. Customers can also charge their phones at the concierge desk whilst they browse.
Another nice low-tech touch throughout is gold keys attached to styling tips that have been placed amongst the visual merchandising.
Further adding to the destination feel of the store, the space includes an in-store café and florist, something we have seen before at the Petersham Nurseries store in nearby Covent Garden.
Swedish chain ‘It’s Pleat’, provides a space for customers to dwell, offering a Scandi menu of food and drink, whilst ‘Bunches’ by Blomrum florist enables customers to mix and match stems to match their interior purchases. Lush plant life extends throughout the store tying it all together.
There is not much of note on the tech innovation front but what the store does provide is a masterclass in visual merchandising. It demonstrates how creating a nice, well-thought out environment highlighted with unexpected design touches can have a big impact on the customer experience.
Full address: 208 Regent St, London W1B 5BD