H&M opens first Wellington store

h&m-store-facadeFast fashion giant H&M has launched its first store in the nation’s capital, with over 600 eager consumers queuing from 6am ahead of the store’s opening.

Spanning 2,700 square metres across two floors, the store presents fashion for men, women, kids and baby, as well as the Home concept – a first for the North Island.

Located at Queensgate Shopping Centre, Lower Hutt, Wellington, H&M’s Australia and New Zealand country manager, Hans Andersson and team cut the ribbon and officially welcomed shoppers through the door at 10.00am.

“We are incredibly excited to finally open in New Zealand’s capital and the response from the Wellington public has been overwhelmingly positive,” he said.

“To be able to continue our expansion within New Zealand and meet our enthusiastic customers is humbling, and we’re so pleased to see the turn out today for this celebration.”

Stride Investment Management Limited, managers of Queensgate Shopping Centre, recently announced the full calendar of new store openings at the centre, including Mecca Maxima, Seed Heritage, Macpac, Skechers, Fisherman’s Plate, Merchant, Decjuba and Amazon. These follow recent additions Boost Juice, Portmans, Bed Bath N Table, Hannahs, and Bed Bath and Beyond Homestore.

“These new stores joining the centre in the coming months promise an exciting shopping experience for Queensgate customers in the lead-up to Christmas,” said Stride’s general manager for shopping centres, Roy Stansfield.

In its most recent trading update, H&M reported a quarterly earnings drop after reduced footfall in stores and increased competition in the fashion sector.

Net profit for the three months to end-August, the third quarter of the retailer’s financial year, came in at 3.84 billion kronor ($470 million), a drop of 20 percent. Sales grew 4.6 percent to 51.23 billion kronor.

Despite the drop, which was in line with analysts’ forecasts, there was rapid and profitable growth of the retailer’s online sales, which in some established markets already account for 25 to 30 percent of total sales.

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