Thursday, August 30, 2012

Do you know where your fashionista is today? Try H&M - Fort Worth Star Telegram

H&M, the Swedish-owned cheap-chic clothing retailer with a fervent following, has finally made it to Tarrant County, opening a 23,821-square-foot store at noon today in Grapevine Mills.

There are already two stores in Dallas, one each in Plano and Mesquite and two in the Houston area."In the past year, H&M has expanded rapidly in the state of Texas," says Daniel Kulle, the chain's U.S. president. "We believe that there is continued great potential in the Texan retail landscape."The first 100 visitors will get a free T-shirt and a scratch-off "fashion pass," good toward $10 to $300 worth of merchandise.Opening specials include items in each department priced at $5, a fraction of the regular price, spokeswoman Jennifer Ward said.The Grapevine location is the retailer's 253rd store in the U.S., having crossed the shores to New York in 2000 -- 53 years after its founding in Sweden as Hennes & Mauritz. (It has 2,600 shops in 44 countries, including franchises, and opens in Mexico this year.)Not all H&M stores have the same departments, Ward said.The Grapevine store also will have women's lingerie and swimwear, accessories for men and women, men's underwear, children's clothes from newborn to 14, sport apparel, maternity wear and women's plus sizes, she said.With in-house designers and contract manufacturing, the company offers its fashionable, house-brand goods at highly competitive prices. It works with name designers for one-off collections usually before the holidays, Ward said.This year, the high-fashion selection will be from the French Maison Martin Margila, but only 10 to 40 of the U.S. stores will carry it, she added.The chain endured a PR nightmare when it didn't get Atlanta artist Tori LaConsay's permission when it used her copyrighted design on doormats for its British stores. She created a social-media stink, and the "You look Nice Today" doormat is no longer for sale, Ward said.H&M has bucked an industry trend by not passing on higher cotton and Asian labor costs to consumers. It can do this, according to the Financial Times, because the company is still family-controlled.TTI buys China firmTTI, a Fort Worth-based specialty distributor of semiconductor components, said it has bought the assets of NPCS Autotronics Co. in Shanghai, China.NPCS Autotronics is a specialty distributor of connector products used in the transportation market. The company is an official distributor of Delphi Connection Systems.TTI said it will establish a new branch in Shanghai. The company is a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway."I said earlier in the year that I anticipated some of our best days for TTI Asia were just ahead of us. Today is one of those days," said Paul Andrews, TTI's founder and CEO.Sandra Baker, 817-390-7727sabaker@star-telegram.comJim Fuquay, 817-390-7552jfuquay@star-telegram.comBarry Shlachter, 817-390-7718barry@star-telegram.com

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