H&M (Hennes & Mauritz AB) is the world second largest retail-clothing company. It was founded in 1947 in Sweden. In recent years, it has expanded rapidly, about 3,000 branch stores existing over 50 countries which include in Asia, Europe and America. As a “fast fashion” clothing company, H&M’s business concept is offering latest popular design and good quality at the best price. The H&M Group offers fashion from the H&M, COS, Monki, Weekday, Cheap Monday, & Other Stories and H&M Home brands. Therefore, its product line is various, including not only clothes but also shoes, cosmetics, home supplies and accessories. Customers of any age group are able to select suitable products, no matter young or old, men or women. However, the main marketing target is young people between 15 to 30 years old who chase fashion but cannot afford to buy luxury clothes. Based on Fast-Fashion concept, the biggest characteristic is that the time of the whole process including designing, producing, delivering and selling is very short, and all can be done even in only 21 days (Fahy & Jobber, 2012). Compared with its competitor, ZARA, although they have similar fashion designs, H&M has lower price of about 30 per cent to 50 per cent than ZARA (Figure 1) (Boyu-linen, 2011). Moreover, it usually cooperates with world famous designers or super stars, such as Karl Lagerfeld in 2004 and Madonna in 2007, to design its products (H&M.com).
Product life cycle
Product life cycle theory was proposed by Raymond Vernon, a professor of Harvard University, in 1966. Most product life-cycle curves are presented as bell-shaped including four stages: introduction, growth, maturity and decline (figure 2) (Baines, Fill & Page, 2013). In introduction, when a products is brought to market, sales growth is slow and profits are virtually nil because of heavy introduction expenses. While the new product is accepted in the market, it could generate improvement of profit in growth. In maturity,
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