Thursday, April 16, 2015

News: H&M to open Rotherham store

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Leading international fashion retailer, H&M is to open its first store in Rotherham later this year.

The Stockholm-based retailer is set to take space at Parkgate Shopping, one of the largest retail parks in the UK that is already home to over 40 shops attracting over nine million visitors a year. The retail destination was ranked as the fifth best retail park in the UK by retail consultancy, Javelin Group in its latest VENUESCORE report which assesses the UK's leading 3,000+ commercial venues.

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H&M's business concept is to offer fashion and quality at the best price and through multiple brands and concepts H&M offers a broad and varied range of fashion with collections for women, men, teenagers and children. It began life in 1947 when Hennes women's clothing store opened in Västerås, Sweden and now has more than 3,500 stores in 55 countries.

Famous for collaborations with some of the world's biggest designers and fashion icons, H&M opened 379 new stores and four new online markets in 2014 with eight new stores in the UK taking the total in the country to over 250. The expanding firm has expansion targets to increase the number of stores by 10–15% each year with 400 planned for 2015.

H&M reported that sales in 2014 increased by 14% in local currencies and by 18% in Swedish kronor, to SEK 176.6 billion (£13.7 billion) including VAT. Profit for the year after tax increased by 18% to over SEK 20 billion (£1.6 billion).

Set to open in the autumn, the new Rotherham store will offer a wide selection of trend-driven and quality fashion for women, men and children and will also include an H&M Home department. Closest current stores are in the city centre and Meadowhall in Sheffield and Frenchgate in Doncaster.

A spokesperson for H&M said: "We are delighted to be opening in Parkgate Shopping in Rotherham and believe this is an exciting opportunity to expand our brand. It's exciting to continue to expand nationwide, throughout the UK, reaching both new and also existing customers in their home towns and cities."

The WHSmith store at Parkgate Shopping was set to close this week. The lease of the unit has been on the market for a number of years as a confidential disposal and last year, plans were approved for a new mezzanine level that would take unit 4a to 13,000 sq ft.

Plans have also recently been submitted that would enable the mezzanine floor at the unit currently occupied by BHS to be extended. Unit 14a has an existing mezzanine floor of 13,000 sq ft and, if approved, this could be extended to 20,000 sq ft.

Parkgate Shopping, which is currently 100% let, is owned by Hercules Unit Trust (HUT), which is advised by British Land and managed by Schroders, it is valued at over £100m to the trust via a subsidiary, the Rotherham Unit Trust.

H&M website
Parkgate Shopping website

Images: H&M

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