H&M is launching a new brand

The Swedish group owns Cos and Cheap Monday...

Hennes & Mauritz (H&M) has announced that it is launching a new fashion brand and investing in speeding up its production process.

'Arket' will launch in autumn of 2017 with a flagship store in London. Its style is described as, "simple, timeless and functional" by the company.

Like H&M's Cos and & Other Stories brands it will sell more expensive clothes than its base brand.

The initial UK outlet will also have a cafe featuring Nordic food.

Alterations

"To meet the rapid change that is going on in fashion retail we need to be even faster and more flexible in our work processes, for example as regards buying and allocation of our assortment," chief executive Karl-Johan Persson said.

"We are therefore investing significantly in our supply chain, such as in new logistics solutions with greater levels of automation, but also in optimising our lead times. In the changes we are making, advanced analytics will provide important support for decision making," he continued.

It announced today that its first-quarter operating profit dropped by 3%.

The group says that this was due to challenging marketing conditions in both Europe and the US.

H&M is the world's second largest fashion group after Inditex (who own Zara) - its brands include H&M, Cheap Monday, Weekday, Cos, Monki and now Arket.

Arket is the Sweedish word for a sheet of paper.