H&M, Hennes and Mauritz Inc., one of the world's largest fashion retailers, announced Friday it will open its first Iowa location at NorthPark Mall in Davenport.
The retailer, known for fashion-forward, affordable apparel for the whole family, will open a 20,000-square-feet-store in the fall of 2018 at the mall. The NorthPark location is one of 50 U.S. stores H&M plans to open this year and the only Iowa store it has announced.
"We feel like H&M is always looking for the best locations and that is an important part of the expansion project for us," H&M spokesman Patrick Shaner said Friday. "The time has come and we're very excited to be coming to Iowa."
With H&M's online store, he said "we probably already have plenty of H&M shoppers in Iowa, but it's exciting to have a bricks and mortar store coming."
Founded in 1947 in Sweden, H& M group has grown to 4,739 stores in 69 markets and 43 online markets. Since opening its first U.S. store 17 years ago, the company's U.S. footprint has grown to 522 locations. Additional Illinois stores also are slated to open this year in Chicago, Champaign and Bloomington, Shaner said.
"We are excited to have the first H&M store in Iowa at NorthPark," said Dennis Gilliam, senior property manager for NorthPark and SouthPark malls. "It shows H&M and other international retailers have confidence in our mall and the Quad-Cities."
Gilliam estimated that Macerich, the mall's parent company, had the deal in the works for nearly a year. "These are not easy deals to make. We had to really work at first, making them understand what the Quad-Cities was about and NorthPark is all about, and then negotiating the deal."
According to Gilliam, the H&M store will locate between Younkers and Dillard's department stores in space now filled by LensCrafters, Charlotte Russ and Pro Tournament League as well as adjacent vacant space. Charlotte Russ and Pro Tournament will relocate in the mall, but a final decision has not been made on LensCrafters, he added.
Gilliam estimated the store's build-out will begin in 60 to 90 days.
H&M carries fashions for both men and women and will carry the H&M Kids collection for newborns to teens.
The new store will create about 20 jobs. H&M job opportunities are listed at career.hm.com.
Shaner said the H&M brand is focused on sustainable development including "reversing the impact we have on the environment." Through a Garment Collecting program available in all its stores, its stores invite customers to donate used clothing and other textiles — in any condition, and receive a 15-percent discount coupon.
Donations can be made daily and the items do not have to be from H&M, he said.
H&M then works with other companies who recycle the material into new material or insulation, or to be re-worn by selling them through second-hand stores. "The whole point is to give them a second life," he said.
In 2017, H&M diverted 2.5 million pounds of unwanted textiles from the landfill.
For NorthPark, "H&M will provide another stepping stone to other great regional, national and international retailers," Gilliam said, adding "There is more to come."
He added that H&M will join some other new stores that have opened in the past few months, including Apricot Lane and R|C Brazilian Steakhouse.