H&M's Biggest Store Ever Coming To Fifth Avenue
August 23, 2012
A few weeks ago, a rumor floated around town that H&M was considering abandoning its store at Fifth Avenue and 51st Street, its first U.S. store, to avoid getting hit with a massive rent hike, so it's not terribly surprising to hear that the hyper-popular Swedish chain is planning what will be it's largest store anywhere in the world just three blocks south at 589 Fifth Avenue at 48th Street, and just six blocks north of yet another unit at 42nd Street. The new store at a whopping 57,000 square feet is expected to open sometime next year, and will be the chain's 12th in Manhattan after the Columbus Circle unit opens later this year. In addition to being just immense, the store will be the first in the city to carry all of H&M's product lines under one roof which includes men’s and women’s apparel, lingerie, underwear, accessories, babies' and children’s wear, special sizes, maternity wear, cosmetics and the heretofore unseen in New York home collection.
And here's the surprising twist: That now puny seeming original store at 51st and Fifth isn't going anywhere. H&M will continue to maintain that store even after the new flagship opens, which is apparently consistent with its real estate strategy in many markets where stores are clustered within a few blocks each other (not unlike the two Soho H&M stores). As a spokesperson told WWD, “We have many stores that are in close vicinity of each other. It’s not unusual. It increases foot traffic.” Given the endless stream of shoppers on Fifth Avenue in midtown, we can't argue with that thinking.