COLUMBIA — Fashion-conscious Columbians will soon have a new place to shop when H&M opens at the Columbia Mall at noon on Wednesday. It will be H&M's fifth store in Missouri and the first in the central part of the state.
Collections for men, women and children will be featured as well as sections for maternity wear, lingerie, accessories and the brand’s plus-size line.
The Columbia Mall location is the first available in the central region of the state and will utilize 20,000 square feet.
While no external changes were made to the mall, nine stores were relocated to accommodate the new H&M’s size, Rusty Strodtman, Columbia Mall’s senior general manager, said.
“It’s about a quarter to a fifth of Dillard’s," Strodtman said. “And, it’s comparable in size to Barnes & Noble and MC Sports.”
The Swedish retailer group, which includes H&M, COS, Monki, Weekday, Cheap Monday and & Other Stories, has more than 3,300 stores in 54 global markets.
H&M opened its first U.S. store in 2000 on Fifth Avenue in New York.
Today, H&M has 335 stores throughout the country and plans to expand by 10 percent to 15 percent annually, according to the company’s website.
Prior designer collaborations with Karl Lagerfeld, Madonna and Versace have gained the company worldwide recognition. The company also uses organic cotton, recycled wool, recycled polyester and recycled plastic. Customers who bring in a bag of clothes for recycling can receive a voucher for 15 percent off.
“We look forward to providing our Columbia customers with everything they need for fall, from basics to inspiring fashion items for the whole family, all at great value,” Daniel Kulle, U.S. President for H&M, said in a news release.
Earlier this year, H&M was mentioned on the Global 100 Index, which lists the most sustainable corporations in the world. Eligible companies are scored on factors such as energy productivity, safety performance and employee turnover.
Columbia local Ann Renner listed H&M as one of her son’s favorite stores and welcomes the thought of a location being built nearby.
“I think it’s great price wise,” Renner said. “It’s a good match in this demographic.”
Many MU students have been anticipating H&M’s arrival since the announcement of a new store opening in Columbia was made last fall.
“I think it’s cool, and it’ll do very well with all the college kids," Paige Baumgartner, a third-year occupational therapy major, said.
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