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About a year ago, H&M announced plans for their biggest store ever: 57,000 square feet at Fifth Avenue and 48th Street. Well, a lot can happen in a year, including plans to top yourself. The Swedish mega-retailer is now plotting a four-level, 63,000-square-foot flagship at Herald Center. Yes, the former site of Daffy's whose owner was recently "looking for a fashion retailer, not Nordstrom Rack or Loehmann's. They're looking for a full-priced retailer. They would try to make a play for Topshop."
According to a source, WWD reports that H&M wasn't even looking for a new location but when the space presented itself, it was too good to pass up. This will be the retailer's third 34th Street unit, joining locations at the intersections of Broadway and Seventh Avenue. As Manhattan's 14th H&M, the Herald Center location, which will open next fall, will be unique in that it will offer all product categories.
Herald Square has seen something of a retail renaissance as of late. Urban Outfitters is planning an enormous "lifestyle center" for Broadway between 35th and 36th Streets. Meanwhile, Macy's is funneling $400M into a makeover of its flagship (which is still World's Largest Store at 1.2 million square feet). The district is pretty much reserved for giant national chains only, though, as retail rents are climbing to numbers typically seen in Soho and Times Square.
The design of the new H&M unit will certainly advance the changing look of Herald Square. The first three floors will be covered in a glass facade with campaign images adoring the windows like billboards. Floors four through ten will have LED light panels. The overall effect will be reminiscent of Times Square. Or Tokyo.
Speaking of Times Square, H&M is still opening a massive 42,500 square foot unit at the base of 4 Times Square, replete with skyline-changing signage. That's in addition to the Fifth Avenue store that's in the works. In total, the three new units will employ 900 people.
· H&M's Largest Store Set for Herald Center [WWD]
· Could Topshop Move Into the Old Daffy's Space on 34th Street? [Racked NY]
· H&M's Two New Stores Will Be Totally Different From Each Other [Racked NY]
· Sorry, Vegas: H&M Wants to Open Its Biggest Store in New York [Racked NY]