H&M Group unveils radically different Singular Society membership brand
H&M Group has soft-launched an interesting new venture with the debut of Singular Society, a first-of-its-kind members-only brand that gives those who sign up “access to uncompromised life essentials at the price of what they cost to make”.
It’s built around a subscription-based retail model, where products are being offered “as a service towards the members, rather than as a source of income”. The membership fees are what provide the income for the company and it claims this reduces the problem of over-production. The company said its initial offer is “a carefully curated assortment of high-quality, responsibly made products for the home, and wardrobe essentials”.
It plans to expand the assortment with the addition of new categories “over time” in order to “fulfil the needs and preferences of the brand’s members”.
It’s no surprise, given the model, that the focus is “timeless design”.
The Swedish retail giant said it’s “constantly exploring new ways of helping people discover and get inspired by fashion and design”.
The soft launch period will see it accepting new members “gradually, although looking forward to accepting everyone who wants to sign up as soon as possible”. There's currently a waiting list.
The costs to members are SEK95 (€9.50) a month for the entry deal that allows them to buy five products a month. A ‘Plus’ membership costs SEK195 (€19.50) and allows members to buy 25 products each month. Both levels are slightly cheaper when purchased annually.
The brand, which has a store and showroom in Stockholm, does seem to be genuinely trying to think differently about its approach to the fashion and interiors business.
On its website, it said: “We are a group of industry insiders, that having spent most of our adult life in fashion, lifestyle and luxury retail at some of the largest companies in the world, kept coming back to the same (obvious) questions: Why do we buy so many things we don't need, or even want? Why is quality so expensive? Is it really necessary to add a 600% (sometimes even more) profit margin to make business work, and if so, why are so few retail companies turning a profit? Is anyone even winning here?
“We started thinking. Is it possible to create a scenario where everyone wins instead? That at the same time can form a healthy and reliable long-term business? That has the potential for both short and long-term positive impact on themselves, the industry at large and sustainability?
“What we realised is this: If we change our business model to a subscription based concept, we won't be dependent on making money off what we sell, and can instead live off the monthly fees. That means we don't have to chase cheap production, and can focus on quality and long-term relationships with our members.”