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H&M sets Wollongong opening date

h&mH & M has announced that its store at Wollongong Central will open on 1st September, 2016.

Wollongong Central will be the site of H&M’s seventh store in NSW and will be the second regional store in the state following the opening of H&M at Charlestown Square during July.

The store will span approximately 2300sqm and be set over 2 levels, featuring apparel, underwear and accessories for men, women, kids and babies.

“We are excited to be opening our first H&M store in the Illawarra region at Wollongong Central,” said Hans Andersson, Australian country manager for H&M.

“It feels fantastic to now be able to offer our customers the H&M shopping experience in Wollongong and cannot wait to see the response on opening day”.

Sean Sands, managing director at ACRS at Monash Business School, anticipates that the success H&M has enjoyed in its capital city stores will be replicated when it enters the Wollongong and Toowoomba regional centres

“I expect H&M will do extremely well in regional areas, based on their price point and fashion focus,” Sands told Inside Retail. “They will be serving a market that is somewhat underserved, both on price and fashion in some instances.”

“Many overseas brands come here and expect there to be little difference in shopper behaviour, but the [Australian] market is somewhat unique in shopping behaviour, style and taste to somewhere like Europe,” Sands said. “I expect [H&M] expansion into regional areas that are well serviced by good retail centres, have strong retail prospects and a lack of competitive offer in terms of price and fashion.”

H&M entered the Australian market in 2014. Today there are 12 stores nationwide; Melbourne’s GPO, Eastland Shopping Centre and Pacific Werribee in VIC, Macquarie Centre, North Ryde, Chatswood Westfield, Charlestown Square and Pitt Street Mall in NSW, Indooroopilly Shopping Centre, Westfield Garden City, Pacific Fair, Gold Coast and Queen Street, Brisbane in QLD and Joondalup Shopping Centre in WA. Further stores that have been announced include: Pacific Werribee, Wollongong Central, Grand Central Toowoomba and Chadstone.

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