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H&M Shutters Underperforming Cheap Monday Brand to Focus on Core

H&M is saying goodbye to its Cheap Monday brand.

The line, known for its skinny denim and characteristic skull logo, will be shuttered completely by June 30, 2019, H&M said in a statement Tuesday.

H&M said the move is an effort to streamline its core business to focus on a changing fashion industry that prioritizes digitalization and omnichannel representation. Cheap Monday’s traditional wholesale business model, it seems, wasn’t keeping up with the times.

“The fashion industry is in a period of extensive change as a result of ongoing digitalization. At the same time, the H&M group’s transformation work is continuing at a fast pace, with the company prioritizing and focusing on its core business,” the retailer said. “There has been a negative trend in the Cheap Monday’s sales and profits for a long time. The H&M group, therefore, intends to close down Cheap Monday.”

Cheap Monday distributed to around 2,000 different resellers and sourced its products from factories in Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Pakistan and Vietnam, according to the brand’s website.

H&M estimates that roughly 80 employees will be affected by the closure of the brand’s operations in Stockholm and Tranås, Sweden. It said all Cheap Monday employment contracts would be terminated in 2019 but that employees will be given external career support and guidance on how to continue working with H&M.

Cheap Monday’s sole physical location on Carnaby Street in London will close on Dec. 31st of this year, along with the brand’s website.

Cheap Monday began as a second-hand store called “Weekday” that mixed high fashion with inexpensive hand-me-downs for its trendy customer base in Stockholm at the turn of the millennium. However, as the shop gained notoriety, it became apparent to founders Örjan Andersson and Adam Friberg that there was a need for less expensive denim options in the store.

Weekday designed and sourced 800 pairs of tight, unwashed denim jeans and they sold out in just weeks. Cheap Monday would later come to function as an offshoot to Weekday that focused on the same tight denim fits. By 2005, the brand began to distribute its denim internationally and it was bought by H&M in 2008.

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Ten years later, the head of new business for H&M, Anna Attemark, said it was the right time to let go of the brand.

“We need to constantly develop our business and what we choose to invest in,” Attemark explained. “We see very good opportunities and great potential for all of the other brands within New Business, which all are developing positively both digitally as well as through physical stores.”