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Beauty and Balmain come to H&M

Just in time for the holidays, H&M is adding a new category to its offerings.

The Swedish, fast-fashion retailer has gained strong traction among consumers in the U.S., taking market share away from a number of specialty, off-price and department store retailers.

Now, it's aiming to take share from cosmetics retailers with its new beauty line. Every cosmetics retailer and brand could be considered competition, said Daniel Kulle, president of H&M North America, in an interview with CNBC.


Just in time for the holidays, H&M has launched a new beauty line.
Source: H&M
Just in time for the holidays, H&M has launched a new beauty line.

"I think all of them are going to be some kind of competition for H&M in that way," he said. "So we don't look at anyone specific, we know we have very wide offering, we have over a thousand products, we have 160 nail colors for nail polish, and we're starting at $2.99, so I think we are very competitive, showing a wide range, and everything is done by H&M."

Balmain fans ready for H&M collection

But beauty isn't the only new offering H&M has ahead of the holiday season. On Nov. 5, shoppers will be clamoring to buy one of 50 designs from the Balmain for H&M line.

The highly anticipated collection from the Parisian fashion house will sold at 50 U.S. H&M stores, with items priced as low as $29.90. Kulle made no promises about how long the inventory will last.

"We always want to make sure that we have the supply for our consumers, but the same time we know that key items, they will not last for everyone," Kulle said. "We want to have a little bit less quantities, so it's a little bit exclusive for each individual. So that's the way we want to do it, so you have to be there early in the morning, first in line, grab the item for a phenomenal price this year."

Some of the pieces have already been worn by the campaign's models — Kendall Jenner, Jourdan Dunn and Gigi Hadid — at high-profile events including the Billboard Music Awards and New York Fashion Week parties.

Black Friday: Competitive as ever

This year's holiday season will be just as competitive as it has ever been, Kulle said.

"We have learned that the Black Friday (week) is going to be a very important week," he said.

In recent years, Black Friday has become a shopping event that begins earlier than the Friday after Thanksgiving, with some retailers staying open on Thanksgiving day or opening on Thursday evening.

H&M will watch what the competition is doing, he said.

"We are there with our fashion, we have the quality and the phenomenal prices, so we're very confident that the things we are doing are really, really good. And we have seen that last year, the holiday season has been very strong for us," Kulle said.

While many other retailers have expressed concern over slowing mall traffic, H&M continues to grow its footprint in the U.S.

"We make sure we go to the right malls. We make sure that we have a really strong location in that mall, we build out and put a lot of emphasis into the build-out so when the consumers come to that individual mall they want to see that H&M has a really top-notch build-out of the store," Kulle said. "We think that the traffic we're looking for is there for us."