Pedestrians walk past a Hennes & Mauritz store. Picture: BLOOMBERG/QILAI SHEN
Pedestrians walk past a Hennes & Mauritz store. Picture: BLOOMBERG/QILAI SHEN

Hennes & Mauritz (H&M), a pioneer in collaborating with famous designers and artists, is setting out to grab a share of the branded products musicians sell to fans.

The Swedish retail giant, which has collaborated with the Weeknd and Madonna, will offer to run merchandise stores for performers globally through its newly founded Creator Studio, the venture said in an emailed statement.

H&M will offer creators on-demand printing “through a sustainable supply chain and a global network,” help acts sell merchandise using its infrastructure, according to earlier job ads. The global market for licensed merchandise and services amounted to $293bn in 2019, according to Licensing International.

“Since every single piece is only produced if bought by a customer, any creator has the possibility to start tailoring their message, let the creativity flow and focus on building meaningful relationships with their fans,” said Dinesh Nayar, MD of Creator Studio.

A first partnership has been signed with Sweden’s Doors, a one-stop-shop platform that lets artists curate and perform online concerts, as well as communicate with fans and manage ticket sales and royalties. It’s a way for musicians to take control of another source of revenue while limiting the financial risk with on-demand printing of garments.

“With our platform and service, we are creating a risk-free revenue opportunity for bands and performers where the minimum order is one and can be fulfilled within days,” Nayar said.

H&M shares rose as much as 3.4% on Thursday after reporting earnings that beat estimates. The pandemic impact is abating for the retailer, which has reopened almost all its stores, though it struggled to keep up with demand because of delays and disrupted product flows. Only 50 outlets are temporarily shut right now, compared with 1,800 earlier in 2021.

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