This post was something that I thought long and hard about before writing but I decided it needed to be done. I wear a large or a size 16 in H and M.
About 18 months ago I had a job interview for the role I currently hold and after being in my interview clothes all day, I decided to nip the Manchester Market Street store for a cheap outfit. I was meeting a friend afterwards and felt uncomfortable in what I was wearing. I came across a large display of around 15 different styles of skater skirt with lots of different sizes. All except large and x large. Thinking they may sell out quickly I then looked at the leggings, again a large space but not one pair of large or extra large. I then look at a couple of dresses that were on sale, nothing. At this point had looked at around 20 different items and was so frustrated I started to check other items at random. Ones that I didn't even want. I know by the time I left that store I had checked over 40 items and not one was available for me to buy.
This was across basics, more expensive items, skirts, dresses, top and trousers. I left the shop furious. Not only had I wasted around thirty minutes of my time I felt discriminated against. As I was so annoyed I did not speak to any of the staff members.
When I started the job a month later I checked again (thinking the previous time was a one off) and the same thing happened. I found myself going in every couple of weeks and getting more and more annoyed.
After five visits like this I decided to complain via the website. The response I got was less than pleasing. I do not have the email anymore, however it basically told me that they put all of the sizes out on the shop floor. So asking someone would make no difference, they did not explain why so many items would not be available.
For some time I avoided H and M and then slowly started to go back in there. I knew that I would only find my size in 1 in 5 items that I looked at, but as a size 16 I don't expect things to be as easy as when I was a size 10. Recently, however they have gone back to their old ways.
A couple of weeks ago I was in the York store and I searched the racks, again dozens of items not available in my size. The Cheshire Oaks store a few days later, the same deal. My partner could not find anything in his size either and when he spoke to the manager was just told they were busy.
I have had continuing issues in the Manchester Market Street store, but an experience at the store in the Arndale Centre was what pushed me over the edge. I checked a huge rail of cardigans, nothing in my size. I checked a whole sections of skirts, nothing in my size. In fact the only think I did find (after checked dozens of products) was a white pair of cycle shorts. This is a disgrace.
I have now decided I will not buy another item from H and M. If you don't want to do larger sizes, don't. That is your business decision, however do not say you stock them when you evidently don't. In the past I have managed to obtain items from the website but it appears to me that there is just no room in their stores.
If H and M can give me a reason why they ignore larger customers I would be happy to know. I would also like to know if they get their act together. Until that point I will not be shopping with them again.
**********H AND M RESPONSE *********
Many thanks for your email which we received last week.
We are very sorry to hear about your unsuccessful
shopping experiences that you
encountered in our H&M stores. All stores should carry the wide
range of sizes that we have within our collections and these should be
available on the shop floor. For those sizes
that have sold out, we have stock replenishments from our distribution
centre throughout the week to all stores.
Customer Service and our customers shopping
experience is very important to us and we very much appreciate your
feedback. Please rest assured that will be following this up in the
stores that you visited.
In the mean time, our website is able to hold a much great quantity and
variety of stock than our individual stores. This means we're able to
stock many items in all of our sizes and this may be a good place to
look should your local store be out of stock when
I would like to take the time to assure you
that your comments have been logged and will be made available to all
levels of managers up and down the country. Feedback good and bad is the
way H&M looks to grow and improve as a company.
Should you have any further questions relating to
this particular enquiry, please respond to this email so that it will
revert to the Back Office department. As this query is being dealt with
directly by ourselves, I am writing to you from
an address that is unique to our department and is not viewed by other
members of the customer service team.
Should you have any further queries relating to other
matters, these will be best dealt with by my colleagues at the email
address firstname.lastname@example.org so that they can be directed to and dealt with by the appropriate people.
We do hope you will visit H&M stores again in the future or visit us online at hm.com.
H&M Customer Service
I will check my local stores in a couple of weeks and see what happens