H&M is hitting Miami with a one-two punch and searching for other locations across the U.S.

This story first appeared in the August 1, 2012 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

The Swedish retailer has signed a lease for its second flagship location in the greater Miami area, a 25,000-square-foot store at the Aventura Mall, one of the top five highest-grossing shopping centers in the country. The unit will be unveiled in the fall, shortly after the opening of an H&M flagship on Lincoln Road. A 4,000-square-foot pop-up store on Meridian Avenue in South Beach opened in June and will operate until the unveiling of the nearby Lincoln Road flagship.

The Aventura unit will carry collections for women, men, young women and young men, and children ages newborn to eight. Accessories, lingerie and athletic apparel will be housed in in-store shops.

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“Southern Florida is an untapped area for us, and we’ll enter this fall with two flagship stores in Miami-Dade County,” said Daniel Kulle, president of H&M North America.

The retailer has opened four stores in the Greater Dallas area in the past year and two in Houston since May. Plans for a 24,000-square-foot store at The Domain in Austin, Tex., were revealed last week. “We believe these major cities have great potential,” Kulle said. “We’ll open more stores in these cities in the coming years. Performance, market size and the number of available ideal locations determine how many stores we can open in each city.”

H&M is focusing its expansion efforts in the West, Southwest, Southeast and South Central regions. “We’re a growth company with plans for continued expansion,” Kulle said. “Our goal is to increase the number of stores each year by 10 percent to 15 percent.”

H&M is targeting smaller cities, too. “We’ve seen an overwhelming response from customers,” Kulle said. “Opening stores in smaller markets is part of what’s enabled us to grow.”

The first H&M store in the U.S. was unveiled in Manhattan 12 years ago. With 10 units now, H&M is still growing in the city; a 21,000-square-foot store at The Shops at Columbus Circle will open in the fall. The retailer operates 245 units in the U.S.

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