By  on February 17, 2006

LOS ANGELES — Swedish retailer Hennes & Mauritz is going Hollywood as part of a major expansion here.

The high fashion-at-low cost retailer said Thursday that it will open a 10,000-square-foot store on Hollywood Boulevard, across the street from Hollywood & Highland, the outdoor megamall owned by the real estate investment firm CIM Group, which will develop the store with H&M.

The lease on the space has been signed, but the opening date has not been determined, said H&M spokeswoman Lisa Sandberg. Financial terms were not disclosed.

"This is one of several openings that will happen in L.A. starting this year," Sandberg said.

Plans for a two-level 12,000-square-foot store in Pasadena's historic district and a 25,000-square-foot store in the Beverly Center were announced last year. Both are scheduled to open in the fall.

"We're not sure which is opening first and there may be other leases that are signed soon," Sandberg said. "There may be three or four stores opening in all in the L.A. area."

The openings are part of an overall expansion plan for the U.S. Company chief executive officer Rolf Ericksen has targeted the U.S. as "our biggest expansion market for 2006," Sandberg said.

The hip apparel company opened its first California store in San Francisco and is in 22 global markets — with 91 stores in the U.S.

"In 2005, we entered into five new states — the last being California — and now we're looking at the best shopping districts and storefronts in the L.A. area, including Orange County," Sandberg said. "It's always about securing the best location for us. We'll wait if we need to for something to open up."

She views H&M as a good fit for Los Angeles. "The whole concept of mixing and matching garments — you hear this about L.A. — people are self-styling, and that's really what we're about. You see people mixing our brand with other designers."

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