I was just reading a recent interview with the head of design for Swedish fast fashion retailer H&M that appeared in The Australian‘s glossy business magazine (The Deal – sorry can’t find online copy). She (Margareta van den Bosch) reinforced the message that Australia is just too far and difficult for this very multinational player:
“We’ve never really opened in a country where they are in a different season. We are not in South America and although we have one shop in Egypt we are concentrated in Europe and North America, with some shops in Asia. The next destination is Russia… To go somewhere like Australia, it’s far away from our production offices”.
A former prime minister of Australia infamously bemoaned our position at “the arse end of the earth”. It would seem fashion retailers share that few. H&M is not the only notable absentee from our shores. So too the Inditex stable (Zara, Bershka, Massimo Dutti etc), Topshop and The Gap have not bothered to take on the logistic nightmare of trying to deliver constantly up-to-date trends that would be out of whack with the rest of their markets.
As a result I spent today buying bras for my wife from H&M, pants and shirts from Zara and a jacket from Bershka. A happy bonus from being in Paris…