Posted by: findaaronsmith | May 24, 2011

The Mystery of H&M

So simple, yet so convoluted. If the discount, fashion-forward, hip, retro chic clothing store H&M were as simple and straightforward as its url (www.hm.com) and product positioning, it would probably be one of the best retail stories going.

But, alas, it’s not that simple.

My frustration and confusion with H&M started when a business trip to San Francisco first introduced me to the store there. I loved it… Great prices, reasonable quality, relevant styles and everything for kids on up. Why aren’t there more of these I wondered. Picked up a couple things for myself, kids and wife. Easy.

All was well received and in fact the shoes I got for my son turned out to be his favorite shoes ever. What a hit. So once he outgrew them, I looked to replace them. That’s where the trouble started…

I checked for local stores. One… about 45 miles away. No thanks. BUT, new one opening up soon nearby. Good to know, but I’ll just get them online since I know the size and style. That’s where the next problem arose. You see, that simple little url give you lots of pretty pictures, but if you’re in the United States…. no shopping.

Back to the drawing board. Ok, that new store is open now, I’ll just go there and get this done. It’s a madhouse and the staff honestly looked scared. I finally find an associate to help me, and I learn that THIS H&M doesn’t offer kids clothing at all. Their suggestion? Try online! (I didn’t both explaining that H&M didn’t foresee online shopping in the United States to be a lucrative business model.)

So, I’m left without my son’s favorite shoes. And I’m also left wondering who’s steering the ship at H&M because they certainly have left this – and I’m sure many other – consumers looking for answers.

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