Jakarta’s Fashion Lovers Prepare for H&M Opening

By Sylviana Hamdani on 02:49 pm Oct 04, 2013
Chief executive Karl-Johan Persson says H&M is offering gifts to the first 500 to the Gandaria City store's launch on Saturday. (JG Photo/Sylviana Hamdani)

Chief executive Karl-Johan Persson says H&M is offering gifts to the first 500 to the Gandaria City store’s launch on Saturday. (JG Photo/Sylviana Hamdani)

For Jakarta’s fashionistas, the long wait is finally over. H&M, the international fashion retailer known for its stylish and affordable collections, will open its first store at Gandaria City, South Jakarta, on Saturday.

“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 on Tuesday. “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 will be opened in Pondok Indah Mall, South Jakarta, next Wednesday. This store will have 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 store’s interiors are warm and inviting with spacious display areas dominated with dark-toned wooden shelves, steel clothes racks and Oriental rugs on the floors.

Half-body mannequins are dressed in today’s fun and casual fashion styles.

“We want to display the garments in a beautiful way,” Persson said.

“But we also want to convey the message that fashion should be fun, as well. You should be able to dress for your personality. Fashion shouldn’t be taken too seriously.”

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; drama with a tomboy spirit for women and contrasting shapes in dark earthy tones for men.

“We have around 700 suppliers around the world,” Persson said. “A lot of them are in Asia, but also in Europe.”

Some of the garments are also made in Indonesia.

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.”

The chief executive expects a large crowd for the grand opening of their store in Gandaria City this Saturday.

“I hope that a lot of customers will be lining up,” he said.

“I hope our colleagues will be really fired up for the great day and welcoming the customers in a great way.”

The first 500 customers to visit the new store on opening day will be eligible for exclusive H&M opening gifts such as gift cards to the value of Rp 1 million, Rp 350,000, and Rp 200,000.

There will also be other special offers in the store on the opening day.

“I hope customers will get a lot of good products and a great first introduction to H&M,” Persson said.

H&M
Gandaria City
Ground & Upper Ground Levels
Jl. Sultan Iskandar Muda
Kebayoran Lama, South Jakarta
Opening hours: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily