H&M launches free 24-hour suit hire scheme

New initiative enables customers to hire a free navy suit and tie free of charge

H&M offers men free suit hire in new campaign ONE-SECOND-SUIT

H&M has launched a free 24-hour suit rental service for people attending a job interview in an effort to boost their confidence and make a powerful first impression.

The ONE/SECOND/SUIT initiative enables customers to book a single-breasted navy blue jacket with matching trousers, a white shirt, navy blue tie and red handkerchief for free.

Customers can reserve the suit online and get it delivered to their door in a garment bag. After wearing it, they must return the suit to a store, where H&M will arrange washing and dry-cleaning. All delivery charges are free.

Late returns will incur a charge of £50, which will be donated to charity; and any major damage to the suit will have to be paid for, with the full cost of the suit coming in at £116.94.

The high-street retailer cites research that claims potential employers take just a single second to assess a candidate based on first impressions, describing the scheme as a “conscious decision”.

In an evocative short film by critically acclaimed American director Mark Romanek to accompany the launch, we see a series of men preparing for an interview wearing the ONE/SECOND/SUIT.

An emotional voice memo from mum offering words of encouragement and support provides the soundtrack to the film.

The hire page on the company website also lists five top tips for potential interviewees, including the importance of being on time and testing any tech prior to an online interview.

“Have an opinion,” it states. “No-one's expecting you to have all the answers. But they will want to know what you think about the job, the company and the industry.”

Sara Spännar, head of marketing and communications at H&M, says: “Job interviews can be a nerve-wracking experience, but we believe nothing should hold you back, least of all what you wear.

“The ONE/SECOND/SUIT is ready-to-wear confidence. A signal to the world and a reminder to yourself that you’ve got what it takes,” she says.

The ONE/SECOND/SUIT scheme is now available and will run for a test period to gauge customer demand.

Research conducted by Bryan Swider and colleagues at Scheller College of Business, Georgia Institute of Technology, discovered that interviewees who made a good initial impression on an interviewer(s) received higher scores for the questions they answered during the interview than those who made a poor first impression.

And in a study conducted by Professor Tricia Prickett and colleagues at the University of Toledo, Ohio, the decision that experienced interviewers made in a 20-minute interview looking at job experience and skills was predicted by random observers by looking only at the first 20 seconds of the interview.

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