H&M says it’s not big and bad, and it won’t take customers away

  • News
  • October 4, 2016
  • Sarah Dunn
H&M says it’s not big and bad, and it won’t take customers away

Andersson’s chat came the day after H&M New Zealand opened to media and VIP shoppers on Thursday 29 September. The event was the first test of H&M’s new team of staff – Andersson is pleased with how they performed.

In the highly competitive environment H&M is entering, he says the company’s culture and training is what will give it an edge. Several other companies can compete on quality and price, as well as online availability: “But nobody can copy your team member.”

“At the end of the day, they make the difference.”

 The Swedish mega-retailer has 150,000 staff in 64 countries now. Andersson joined it in Sweden during 1988 – the New Zealand store is his fourth country opening. As well as its 2,300sqm flagship at Sylvia Park, H&M has established a small management office at the Australis Nathan building in Britomart.

Asked about fears that H&M’s arrival could impact negatively on competing local retailers, Andersson says he considers competition a win-win for everyone.

“I think competition is fantastic because it keeps you on your toes, you try harder,” he says. “We have to try harder, our competitors have to try harder.”

Whether retailers like it or not, Andersson says, there’s no escaping the global competition brought to New Zealand by ecommerce. He says the new environment is “beautiful” for customers.

“We see this as a good game of tennis, with two good sides, and the audience comes.”

Shortly before the Kiwi outlet opened, H&M was accused of having child labour and unsafe factory conditions in its supply chain, but ethical fashion specialist Baptist World Aid Australia said the retailer scored better on this front than many fast fashion retailers.

Jasmin Mawson, who writes an annual report grading fashion companies on their level of ethical responsibility, highlighted the lower scores of local retailers to Radio New Zealand – Glassons got a C+, Ezibuy a C and Pumpkin Patch scored a D, while H&M was given a B+.

Andersson was unwilling to comment on the ethical practices of H&M’s local competition, but he did praise New Zealanders’ high level of fashion knowledge. The public response to H&M’s arrival was much stronger than that of Australia, he says. He says H&M works with around 850 suppliers in 32 countries, and its inspectors carry out more than 4,000 factory inspections per year to make sure no unsavoury practices find their way into its supply chain.

“Everyone profits from what we are doing because we are putting the bar on a higher level.”

The new store also contains a selection of H&M’s eco-friendly ‘Conscious’ label and its organic cotton basics. Asked if consumer demand supports expansion in this area, Andersson is positive. He compares demand for sustainable clothing to demand for organic and responsibly-produced food, indicating he expected consumer tastes were likely to develop along the same lines.

“The young generation is more more aware of [sustainability],” Andersson says. “They want to be environmentally friendly, but they are not prepared to pay more. Therefore, we need more clever ways to produce.”

Andersson says retailers should not be thinking in terms of “big bad H&M that will take the customers away”, but of business which will grow business as a whole.

“We know being big means we get criticism, and I think it’s good that we can talk to these matters because we can all do better.”

​ ​

This is a community discussion forum. Comment is free but please respect our rules:

  1. Don’t be abusive or use sweary type words
  2. Don’t break the law: libel, slander and defamatory comments are forbidden
  3. Don’t resort to name-calling, mean-spiritedness, or slagging off
  4. Don’t pretend to be someone else.

If we find you doing these things, your comments will be edited without recourse and you may be asked to go away and reconsider your actions.
We respect the right to free speech and anonymous comments. Don’t abuse the privilege.


Military-style semi-automatics ban announced

  • News
  • March 21, 2019
  • The Register team
Military-style semi-automatics ban announced

As of 3pm on March 21, a wide range of semi-automatic weapons have been reclassified under section 74A(c) of the Arms Act as requiring an E endorsement on a firearms license. This means they can no longer be sold to those with A-category gun licenses, and their purchase now requires police approval.

Read more

Retailers gather for insights at NZ Retail and The Register's breakfast

  • News
  • March 21, 2019
  • The Register
Retailers gather for insights at NZ Retail and The Register's breakfast

NZ Retail and The Register’s sales and marketing breakfast saw dozens of Kiwi retailers come together to network, sharing tips and tricks and absorbing expert advice.

Read more

Who stole Christmas?

  • News
  • March 21, 2019
  • Kelly Withers
Who stole Christmas?

Results are starting to trickle in from Christmas 2018/2019, and for many retailers, they're a little disappointing. Paydar chief executive and co-founder Kelly Withers explores the data.

Read more

Social scoreboard

Zavy and The Register have worked together to create a scoreboard that compares how the top 25 traditional media advertising spenders in New Zealand have performed on social media over the past 30 days, updated in real time.

Concept to closet
Business coverage of New Zealand Fashion Week.
Town centres
A positive retail environment over the past 12 ...
Amazon Arrival
Keeping up with all things Amazon as it ...
The Retail Yearbook 2017
As we battle our way through the busiest ...
Hospitality enhancing retail
Some think food and integrated hospitality offerings will ...
The future is bright
We spoke with four retailers in their twenties ...
Spotlight on signage
At first glance, the humble in-store sign might ...
Red Awards 2016
The Red Awards for retail interior design celebrate ...
Auckland Unitary Plan
Auckland is changing. The Unitary Plan will decide ...
How to open a store
Sarah Dunn considers what it would take to ...
All things to all people
Kiwi retailers share their omnichannel strategies.
Rising stars
Retail's top young achievers.
Delivering on your promises
The sale isn't over until your item is ...
Retail in heartland New Zealand
Retailers keep the regions pumping, but how strong ...
Women in retail help one another. We spoke ...
The changing face of retail
Shifting demographics are creating big changes in New ...
The retail yearbook
With the help of experts in the retail ...
Retail rogues
We put the spotlight on staff training. Jai ...
Here come the giants
Topshop has arrived in Auckland’s CBD, David Jones ...
Window shopping: A spotlight on social media
Sarah Dunn and Elly Strang look at how ...
From retail to e-tail
Ecommerce has become part of the way mainstream ...
Loyalty in the digital age
How are retailers maintaining loyalty? Sarah Dunn, Elly ...
The Innovators | In partnership with Spark Business
Technology is rapidly changing the retail industry as ...

Chinese businesspeople raise millions for Christchurch victims

  • News
  • March 21, 2019
  • Radio New Zealand
Chinese businesspeople raise millions for Christchurch victims

A group of visiting Chinese businesspeople have raised $2.35 million for victims of the Christchurch mass shooting.

Read more

The Retail NZ Awards: What does it take to be a winning retailer?

Take this time to shine with the upcoming Retail NZ awards, a chance to show the retail industry what makes your business stand out. No ...


Hunting & Fishing New Zealand voluntarily pulls military-style assault weapons from sale

  • News
  • March 20, 2019
  • Sarah Dunn
Hunting & Fishing New Zealand voluntarily pulls military-style assault weapons from sale

In the wake of the attack on Christchurch’s Muslim community on March 15, strong calls for changes to New Zealand’s gun last have been made. Trade Me was the first retailer to act, halting the sale of all semi-automatic weapons on its platform, and it has now been joined by Hunting & Fishing New Zealand.

Read more
Next page
Results for
About us.

The Register provides essential industry news and intelligence, updated daily. And the digital newsletter delivers the latest news to your inbox twice a week — for free!

©2009–2015 Tangible Media. All rights reserved.
Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Privacy policy.

The Register

Content marketing/advertising? Email or call 022 639 3004

View Media Kit