NEW YORK — H&M’s long-awaited store at 497-501 Fulton Street in Brooklyn is almost here.

This story first appeared in the July 1, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

The Swedish retailer on Wednesday will unveil a 29,000-square-foot store on the heavily trafficked shopping thoroughfare that’s been in the throes of gentrification for several years. H&M will trumpet its arrival with a block party replete with music, games, food and prizes such as H&M gift cards and concert tickets. It will be hosted by Power 105.1 and DJ EmEz. On the day of the opening, H&M will offer the first 250 shoppers in line an H&M T-shirt and an Access to Fashion Pass worth $10 to $300.

Historically, the retailer has seen crowds line up — sometimes 300 deep — for the launch of its most popular designer collaborations and for certain store openings. The store will operate from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday. The store on Wednesday will open at noon, when the block party will begin.

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News about H&M opening a store on Fulton Street first emerged in 2008. At the time, the retailer anticipated opening the store in 2010, but construction delays due to a nearby subway station pushed the opening back to spring 2011. More delays followed.

H&M operates one existing store in the borough, a unit at Kings Plaza shopping center that opened in late 2001. “Since our first U.S. store opened on Fifth Avenue in 2000, we’ve focused on expanding to the best locations throughout the greater New York City area,” said Daniel Kulle, U.S. president of H&M. “We’re [pleased] to open our second store in one of the biggest boroughs in New York City and contribute to the revitalization of the downtown area and of Fulton Mall itself.”

“Opening in downtown Brooklyn is a major milestone for us,” added a spokeswoman. “We believe in Brooklyn very much. It’s an important part of our strategy for expansion in New York City.”

The retailer is stepping up its involvement in the community by sponsoring the H&M concert series at Williamsburg Park this summer.

Brooklyn has been a hot topic for retailers recently. TJ Maxx is bowing on Fulton Street in August, along with Swarovski. A|X Armani Exchange last year unveiled a 6,500-square-foot store at City Point, a 1.9 million-square-foot mixed-use development on Fulton Street and Flatbush Avenue. Century 21 also occupies part of the retail space. Earlier this month, J. Crew confirmed it has leased space for a two-level store at 151 Court Street in Brooklyn. Nordstrom is likely to open its first Rack unit on Fulton Street, the borough’s busiest shopping street, this year.

H&M’s new Fulton Street store will carry collections for men, women, young men and young women, with separate shops-in-shop for accessories, lingerie, sports apparel and maternity. The store will also offer the Swedish retailer’s children’s collection for ages newborn to 14, as well as the plus line, H&M+. One of the world’s largest users of organic cotton, H&M will feature its sustainable fashion collection at the new store.

H&M operates 12 stores in Manhattan, one in Queens and one in Staten Island.

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