H&M, one of the leading apparel retailers in the world, is set to open a massive store in the FIGat7th shopping center in downtown Los Angeles in 2014.
At 32,000 square feet, the store will be among the chain’s biggest in the country. The average size of the 290 H&M locations in the U.S. is between 20,000 and 25,000 square feet.
The idea, according to the company, is to lure entire families into the outlet. In addition to the standard ladies, men's and teen collections found at most H&M stores, the downtown location will also feature accessories, lingerie, sports apparel, maternity and children’s products.
Though H&M wouldn’t say how much it's paying to use the space, the company said it was downtown’s largest fashion retail lease in two decades.
And it won’t be alone. In May, FIGat7th’s owners Brookfield Office Properties said Spanish apparel giant Zara will open in the center in spring in a 27,000-square-foot store that’s nearly three times the size of other Zara outposts.
In October 2012, a CityTarget started operating at FIGat7th.
A handful of other deals have yet to be announced, but “by year end, every space will be fully leased” in the 330,000-square-foot center, said Edward Hogan, national director of retail leasing for Brookfield.
"Fashion brands enjoy the company of like brands," he said. "People like to shop a variety."
H&M spokeswoman Nicole Christie said the chain isn’t concerned about the rivals.
“We have so much range,” she said. “We just think we are competing against ourselves at this point.”
H&M is in “crazy expansion mode,” with more than 40 stores planned around the country this year, Christie said. California is H&M’s largest market in the U.S., with roughly 20% of all stores.
Locations in Southern California tend to be “extremely well-performing,” Christie said.
Downtown Los Angeles, in the midst of a rejuvenation with an influx of hip restaurants and grocery stores, represents “the perfect storm of circumstances,” she said.
“It’s ideal business conditions now with this revitalization and the extra attention in the area,” Christie said. “It’s very opportune.”