Swedish fashion giant H&M is pushing into out-of-town locations as it takes advantage of newly available space and attractive property deals for its continued UK expansion.
The retailer is due to open a 16,500 sq ft store on Monks Cross Shopping Park in York on May 27, and is in talks regarding “several” more out-of-town locations with a strong fashion presence, according to property agents.
Although H&M has a handful of out-of-town stores, it has not opened on a retail park for more than five years.
It is understood that if the York store performs well, the retailer will open further out-of-town stores as it takes advantage of space becoming available as a result of Blacks’ CVA and Borders’ collapse.
H&M is in the process of extending the Monks Cross store, which was signed on a 10-year, turnover-related lease that one source described as a “very good deal” for the retailer. Another property source said landlords of retail parks would be lining up to sign H&M, and suspects the deals are “weighted in H&M’s favour”.
H&M would not comment on its expansion strategy but a spokeswoman said: “We look for the best business locations for H&M stores, whether they be high street, shopping centre or retail park.”
She added that H&M’s location strategy “changes over time”. H&M has more than 160 UK stores and last year opened a further 22 here.
Other fashion retailers to have expanded into out-of-town locations in recent years include Republic, Next, River Island and New Look. “It wants to be near the likes of Topshop, River Island and Zara or it won’t be interested,” said one source.
Property agent Hartnell Taylor Cook acted for H&M, but declined to comment.