H&M's New Secret Brand Is Gonna Be Amazing (We Think...)

Photo: Courtesy of H&M.
H&M has dropped a bit of thrilling, albeit mysterious, news today. According to Bloomberg Business, the Swedish mega-retailer is exploring options for a new kind of concept for a store to (maybe) open in 2017. The problem is, we have no idea what that could be.

Here’s what we do know: The new shopping concept will be unlike H&M and all its related brands. That means that anything similar COS, & Other Stories, Cheap Monday, Monki, and Weekday are off the table. Furthermore, according to the store’s head of investor relations, Nils Vinge, the Scandinavian brand is “looking into new things all the time” and that “some concrete things” are in the works.

Honestly, we’re stumped. But with little other information released, we have started to hypothesize about all the things H&M's new concept could be, based on all the things it’s not. Below, we rounded up some of the newer approaches to shopping that might just inform what this H&M brand will look like. If you’re a betting person, feel free to leave your ideas in the comments.
Photo: Courtesy of Birchbox.
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Could it be the monthly subscription concept?
Seen at: Birchbox

This might be an exciting venture for the retail giant. After all, H&M, & Other Stories, and the like are often nudging us toward new trends. Perhaps a subscription-based brand can help deliver these intriguing looks to our door before we can even get psyched to go shopping for something fresh.
Photo: Courtesy of Brandy Melville.
Could it be the one-size-fits-all concept?
Seen at: Brandy Melville

There are a lot of raised eyebrows that surround this kind of shopping method. Can one size really fit all? And how well? But Brandy Melville’s success has been significant. Even brands like American Eagle are copying the idea in order to test trends through its Don’t Ask Why line. If H&M was looking for a way to throw us for a loop, this would be it.
Photo: Courtesy of Nike.
Could it be the experiential concept?
Seen at: Nike

H&M is no stranger to the pop-up shop, but this could be a chance to up customer interaction with in-your-face, limited-time-only shopping experiences throughout the calendar year. This could take a cue from the LED-covered Nike sneaker box that recently appeared in New York and L.A. to celebrate All-Star Weekend and Air Max Day, respectively.
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Photo: Courtesy of AYR.
Could it be the just-basics concept?
Seen at: AYR
AYR might not have anywhere near the merchandise variety of an H&M or a COS, but that's all a part of this line's beauty. The offerings are curated to just the basics, allowing AYR to really shine when it comes to quality, fit, and styles that will last.
Photo: Courtesy of 69.
Could it be the genderless concept?
Seen at: Sixty Nine
Gender-neutral dressing is not a new thing per se, but the idea is becoming more and more mainstream. You can see it on the runways — where men walk in the women's Proenza Schouler shows and women walk on the men's Prada runway — and you can see it in up-and-coming brands like 69, whose approach to denim is not only avant-garde, it's meant for all gender identities. H&M, this could be a winner too, non?
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