Across from Macy’s, the World’s Largest Store, H&M is building the Largest Store in Its Global Fleet.
H&M’s 63,000-square-foot space will be a fraction of the Macy’s Herald Square flagship’s 1.2 million square feet. But H&M’s four-level flagship at Herald Center, bowing in fall 2014, will be unlike any other unit in the chain, offering the singular combination of women’s, men’s, sport, maternity, plus sizes, accessories, cosmetics, children’s — from newborns to kids age 14 — and home.
The Swedish retailer operates two existing stores within blocks of the new flagship, one on 34th Street and Broadway, and the other on 34th Street and Seventh Avenue. At the moment, the company has no plans of closing either store or converting them to other concepts.
H&M has used the strategy before — clustering stores within blocks of one another — in San Francisco and SoHo, here. “There’s a lot of traffic in that area,” said Daniel Kulle, president of H&M North America. “As we’ve done before, we’re keeping all the stores open in close proximity to each other.” RELATED STORY: H&M Launches E-commerce in U.S. >>
Macy’s, which developed so-called fast-fashion brand Impulse, has been trying to make inroads with 24- to 30-year-old customers, one of H&M’s key demographics. Macy’s recruited Karl Lagerfeld, among others, to collaborate on collections for Impulse. Lagerfeld in 2004 ignited the masstige movement when he partnered with H&M on a onetime collection that sold out in a flash. That led to annual designer hookups at H&M and copycat launches by other players.
H&M has been expanding aggressively in the U.S. In March, the retailer said it was opening 10 stores in cities such as Chicago, Washington, New Orleans and Honolulu.
The Herald Center flagship will take the title of biggest store in the world from a previously revealed 57,000-square-foot unit opening on Fifth Avenue and 48th Street. H&M is also planning to open a 42,500-square-foot store at 4 Times Square at the end of 2013. The retailer said the three new Manhattan stores will together hire 900 employees.
Kulle explained the difference between the Herald Center and Times Square neighborhoods. “The Herald Square location is a very strong shopping district with both national and international retailers,” he said. “The Times Square location is a very strong international tourist destination with global visibility.
“We are proud to continue our unprecedented expansion in New York City with this groundbreaking Herald Square location,” said Kulle. “Locking in our 14th store in Manhattan shows our continued commitment to growth in the New York City market. Thirty-Fourth Street has proven to be one of the most successful retail corridors for the brand after having operated two stores there for over 10 years. With close to 300 stores across the country as well our new Shop Online, the H&M anchor store at this historic intersection will be one of our greatest accomplishments to date.”
A source said that even though H&M may not have been shopping for a new location in Herald Square, the company, which is opportunistic in its leasing, pounced in characteristic fashion. “They found this incredible space,” said the source. “It’s a very impressive space, and they wanted to grab the opportunity.”
H&M’s rendering of the new flagship shows that a brighter day is dawning for Herald Center, the 10-story, 250,000-square-foot retail and office property located at the southwest corner of 34th Street and Broadway. The building, clad in depressing black glass, was a jumble of odd layouts inside for retailers such as Daffy’s, Toys ‘R’ Us, Payless and several low-end stores. H&M won’t be the only retailer in the building. A Bank of America unit will open there, and there could be a few smaller stores.
The black glass covering the exterior of the first three floors will be replaced by a custom modern 300-foot wraparound glass facade. Images from ad campaigns will be interspersed in windows like billboards; the building has signing rights that don’t require city approval. Floors four through 10 will have LED light panels on the outside of the building. There will be an atrium about 35 feet high on the second level.
Herald Center was built on the site of what once was Saks Fifth Avenue and later E.J. Korvette. The property in the early Eighties was financed by Philippine president Ferdinand Marcos and his wife, Imelda, who conceived it as a luxury shopping mall with early tenants such as Charles Jourdan, Ann Taylor, Alfred Dunhill and Brookstone. But they didn’t last in the location.
JEMB Realty in 1989 acquired Herald Center from the Marcoses and envisioned the property as a big-box vertical mall. The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles also has offices in the building.
JEMB has been planning to renovate the building and was looking for a fashion tenant to fill the primary space when Daffy’s closed. When the off-price retailer filed for bankruptcy protection last year, JEMB entered into an agreement to acquire Daffy’s leasehold interests, some real estate and some intellectual property. JEMB agreed to buy out Daffy’s from its location in its Herald Center property for $10 million and hired CBRE Group to market the space.
Asking rent reportedly was $1,200 a square foot for street-level space, $250 a square foot on the second floor and $200 a square foot on the third.
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews