H&M, a retailer many Omahans have been waiting for, will debut its first Nebraska store next fall at Westroads Mall.
“It's one of the most sought-after retailers that's currently out there,” Westroads Senior General Manager Jim Sadler said. “They are so sought after that they could literally go into any city they wanted to at this point.”
Sadler noted that the store is one that many people will drive to another city to shop at.
“It's ... one of those retailers that our customers have been asking for for several years now," he said.
Sadler said the mall's owner, General Growth Properties, has been in discussions with the international retailer for about a year.
“I think they really liked the ... track record, 46 years of being a successful center here in Omaha,” he said. “They knew this was where they wanted to come.”
The mall's recently announced renovation, which will include a revamped food court, new lighting and added Wi-Fi and charging stations, was attractive to the company, Sadler said.
Currently, the nearest H&M stores are in Denver, Bloomington, Minn., and the recently opened one in Kansas City, Mo. The company also launched an online store earlier this month.
The Westroads' 18,000-square-foot store will include full-priced collections for ladies, men, young ladies and young men with separate “store within store” sections for accessories. The location will also carry H&M's children's collection.
The store will take four bays on the third level in the J.C. Penney wing across from Greenberg's Jewelers. PacSun and Spencer's Gifts will relocate in the mall to make way for the new store, Sadler said.
H&M plans to expand greatly throughout the West in 2014, a company news release said. The Swedish H&M, which stands for Hennes & Mauritz, is an international retailer known for offering fashion-forward apparel at affordable prices.
The company opened 304 net new stores in 2012, added five new markets and expects to have 3,000 stores by the end of 2013, according to its 2012 annual report. The chain currently has 278 U.S. stores.
Correction: A previous version of this story contained incorrect store opening information supplied by H&M.