H&M’s ‘Quality Lab’ Display, Mexico
In a potentially inspired mix of visual merchandising and branding nous, Swedish fast-fashion retailer H&M will bring the product testing process to the shop floor when it opens its first flagship in Mexico City next month.
The 45,000 sq ft store in the Centro Santa Fe mall will feature an in-store ‘quality lab’, where customers will be able to see a series of washing and safety tests being carried out. Four H&M employees, trained by the company’s global quality department, will staff the lab.
It’s the first time the brand has displayed its quality-control process in-store. However, Daniel Kulle, continental manager for H&M North America, has indicated that the labs could become a more regular fixture across the retailer’s stores globally, should they receive a positive response from consumers.
This experimental feature serves to highlight the extensive quality controls that H&M’s products undergo before sale, as well as encourage curious shoppers to linger longer in the store to watch the process. For more on this topic see report, Slowing the Journey.
It’s yet another example of a brand turning the shop floor into retail theatre via processes that trade on both the virtue of brand transparency and the fun of revealing what goes on behind close doors – approaches discussed in the following reports: Revealing the Product Journey, Positive Provenance and Brand Transparency: Why It Matters.
The Mexico City flagship, which opens on November 1 2012, also signals H&M’s first move into the Latin American market. Another store is scheduled to open in Santiago, Chile early next year.