H&M is a clothing and cosmetics company based in Stockholm, Sweden; it operates 3,200 stores in over 50 markets.
The global display guideline is created and tested in a store located near H&M’s headquarters in Stockholm; displays put part of the current in-store selection in focus.
Global brands need to be conscious about what “appropriate dress” means in different cultures and for different traditions. One of the essential principles regarding dress in the Islamic tradition is that it not be indecent; modest dress is an important responsibility for Muslims. The hijab is a veil that covers the head and chest; some Muslim females wear it in the presence of males outside of the immediate family. It is a piece of clothing but also has a spiritual meaning that conforms to a certain standard of modesty. Hijab also involves wearing clothing that is not tight fitting and that covers a woman’s body with the exception of her face, hands and feet.
H&M is conscious of cultural and religious traditions; although it has a global display strategy it makes certain adjustments to its display strategy according to local traditions. The following images show one of H&M’s displays, the first was featured in their Hong Kong website; the second one is an adapted version for the Saudi Arabian website. As we can see the image was modified to adhere to Saudi Arabian traditions, in the image we can appreciate that both the shoulders and legs of the featured female model are covered.
Culture, traditions and religious beliefs are important aspects that marketing and advertising professional should take into account when designing and executing global campaigns.