For Jakarta’s fashionistas, the long wait is finally over. H&M, the international fashion retailer known for its stylish and affordable collections, opened its first store at Gandaria City, South Jakarta, on October 5.
“We’ve been planning to set up our stores in Indonesia for a long time,” said Karl-Johan Persson, managing director and chief executive of H&M, which longhand is Hennes & Mauritz, in an interview. “And finally we’re ready,” he said.
H&M has eyed Indonesia as a potential market for some time.
“Indonesia is a super-interesting market with over 250 million people and a growing economy,” he said. “But, it takes time to be slotted in the total expansion plan and also to find the right location. To find the right partner to work in Indonesia is also very important for us.”
Hindo has been chosen as the local partner of H&M in Indonesia.
“Jakarta is an exciting market with a large young and fashion-conscious population,” Hindo country manager Sanveer Gill said. “We’re very proud to open H&M’s first store in Indonesia and to be able to offer fashion and quality at the best prices to customers here.”
“We see great potential for expansion in the country,” Gill added.
After Gandaria City, H&M plans to open two more stores in Jakarta within the next six months.
The second store was opened in Pondok Indah Mall, South Jakarta, on October 9. This store has around 1,700 square meters of retail space.
H&M’s third store will be opened in Grand Indonesia Shopping Town, Central Jakarta, in March next year. It will be the company’s flagship store in the country, with a total retail space of around 4,000 square meters.
The company’s first store in Gandaria City is also quite exciting. It spans over 2,400 square meters on the ground and upper ground levels of the exclusive mall.
The new store offers something for everybody; men, women and children.
“We’re catering for the whole family and all ages really,” the 38-year-old chief executive said. “If you’re interested in fashion, you’re an H&M target customer. If you’re interested in really good quality and prices, together with good fashion, you’re an H&M customer.”
The prices are also quite affordable, ranging between Rp 249,900 and Rp 799,000 ($21 and $69) for clothing items and shoes.
“We’re for all,” Persson said.”We’re affordable. You can get great designs, good quality, and we have prices that most people can afford.”
For the opening, the store will showcase H&M autumn 2013 collections.
“We have around 700 suppliers around the world,” Persson said. “A lot of them are in Asia, but also in Europe.”
H&M currently employs around 150 in-house designers for their fashion products worldwide.
And, according to the chief executive, it is likely that the brand will be looking to collaborate with Indonesian designers in the future.
“We do a lot of different things,” Persson said. “We like to surprise our customers. That’s very likely that we’ll do something interesting with good local Indonesian talents.”
Previously H&M has collaborated with several famous international designers including the flamboyant German designer Karl Lagerfeld and French bohemian designer Isabel Marant.
The company’s store in Gandaria City is manned by approximately 100 young and enthusiastic staff.
“Service is super important,” Persson said. “We have a strong corporate culture when we recruit people into H&M. They have to enjoy working with people and giving customers good service.”
Credit: Jakarta Globe