H&M opened yesterday.
I know what you are thinking. You are thinking that I have a little case of sour grapes. You are probably thinking I am scared or worried about them having an adverse affect on my business.
You would be wrong.
We are not even in the same league. They are the third largest retail organization in the world. They do roughly a zillion dollars a year. They can literally spot a trend and have it hit the floor by tomorrow. They have a huge marketing budget and a bunch of employees who can get everything done super quickly.
When I say that we are not in the same league I mean it. I still think the advantage is mine. My clothing is vastly superior. It is well made and impeccably designed. It is strong, timeless and will not fall apart by next week.
I am also going to make a bold prediction. I think the store will start strong but ultimately I do not think they are going to do as well in Portland as in other cities.
I will explain. People in Portland care about quality. They like clothes that are not too trendy and they like them to be well crafted. This is an artesian community. People here like to know where their clothes come from. They like a story. They want their clothes to be made with love. They are also obsessed with reusing things and like to recycle everything. I have a hard time believing that they are going to embrace clothes that you wear twice before they fall apart. They will be annoyed that they cannot donate them to some worthwhile charity or sell them to buffalo exchange. They also do not want to buy a shirt that 12,000 other people are going to own. They are individual and unique.
H&M cannot provide any of these things.
This is not to say that H&M is no good. I think it is a great store for children and teens. Two groups of people who have no need for clothes that last more than 14 days. I think they will do well in those areas.
I find the whole idea of disposable clothing so 10 years ago. I am sure the good citizens of Portland will as well after the hype wears down.