New H&M store leans into AV technology
H&M is embracing a bold new aesthetic with the opening of its massive 8,000 square meter flagship store in Kuwait’s Avenues Mall. This lavish temple of fast fashion tech is a major departure from the minimalist Scandi style the brand is known for.
Video Walls Galore
The new store features opulent marble finishes, towering LED video walls, and even a movie theater for kids. “We had to create a high cultural environment to appeal to Kuwait’s luxury-loving shoppers,” says Huseni Hakim, group marketing director at Kuwait-based engineering firm DeLite Group, which led the tech integration. DeLite Group worked with 2point0 Concepts for the TVs, audio, and other AV parts of the new H&M store.
Make no mistake, this is still H&M at its core. The shift to digital is central to the company’s strategy, and DeLite worked closely with teams in Sweden and the US to line up digital signage and omnichannel experiences. Shoppers can browse products on iPads in a Click & Collect lounge and have their online purchases delivered to the store.
The tech-filled H&M store aims to captivate Kuwait’s free-spending, Instagram-loving consumers. Giant LED walls up to 10 meters wide dominate the space, with 3.9mm pitch (“pitch” is the distance between individual LEDs) selected to balance visual impact and budget. LCD screens and digital signage run by Stratacache servers round out the AV rollout.
H&M Store Powers Up
Powering it all was no small task, requiring separate electrical systems just for the power-hungry LED walls. But after a 24/7 sprint to open, the megastore was ready for its glamorous debut.=
For H&M, the Kuwait flagship represents a bold experiment in maximalist retail suited to the market. Shoppers at the new H&M store are greeted by a marble facade and giant LED screens outside. Inside, visual features like a foliage wall and a monumental staircase create an experiential backdrop for shopping.
The kids’ cinema, complete with its own LED screen, shows H&M tapering the store to tech-savvy young audiences. Adults aren’t left out though, with chill-out dining areas to take a retail break.
Digital enhancements like the Click & Collect lounge bring omnichannel integration to the lavish setting. The H&M store is future-proofing with Stratacache servers to centrally manage and update content.
The brand worked closely with DeLite from start to finish, providing designs but relying on the AV experts to advise on technical needs. With a tight 3-month timeframe, delivering the ambitious store required round-the-clock work down to the wire.
Maximizing H&M Store
For a company known for minimalist designs, the maximalist Kuwait store is a major departure. But for H&M, it represents a blueprint for tech-filled flagships in lucrative markets like the Gulf. As the company pivots to digital retail, extravagant concept stores like this new H&M store could be the new normal.