Retail Property and Fashion
Retail Swedish clothing giant H&M is set to launch their new store in Townsville’s Stockland Aitkenvale Shopping Centre any day now, providing a confidence boost to the economy struggling over the past few years from a steep downturn in the mining industry.
H&M’s footprint will cover thousands of square metres when it opens its doors. The space at Stockland Aitkenvale remains boarded up while final construction and commissioning work winds down.
The Swedish retail clothing giant will create 40 full time, part-time and casual jobs including staff from H&M’s southern stores to launch the new store.
All available jobs for the store have been filled. H&M’s careers website has no positions currently available in Townsville. The typical H&M store is structured and resourced with a department manager, sales advisors, visual merchandisers and cash office responsible, offering favourable employment for full-time and part-time students.
Townsville’s large university sector was a significant draw card for H&M as the students are both popular shoppers with the brand, while serving the retailer’s human resource requirements for flexibility that is advantagiously achieved using a casual and part-time labour force.
The retailer’s fashion products are pitched to the “average” budget, attracting a lot of female shoppers seeking H&M’s extensive clothing range that also appeals across all demographics.
The Townsville store is expected to attract shoppers from Cairns, Mackay and Mount Isa. H&M has 18 outlets across Australia including Toowoomba. Townsville is its newest store in the Australian marketplace.
Multiple retail brands including the Fashion Gallery, Foot Locker, Rockmans, Cotton On, Crossroads, City Beach, Barefoot, etc. have relocated to make way for H&M. The Fashion Gallery said they vacated the store in February 2017 to relocate to the city.
Speculation about the Swedish fashion brand opening in Townsville was sparked late in 2016. But owners Hennes and Mauritz AB would not confirm plans were in the making to open a new store in Townsville.
The Townsville Chamber of Commerce has been aware that H&M were looking at the city, speculating that two locations were being considered either at Willows or Stockland.
H&M country manager Mr. Hans Anderson said, News Ltd reporter Rachel Riley, “the store will open “well ahead” of the Christmas shopping period.
Mr. Anderson said, “One thing I can promise is it will be a very exciting and inviting store and there will always be new arrivals more or less every day”.
“The opening day will be one to remember for H&M and Townsville” as Ms. Riley had reported Mr. Anderson said.
H&M is expected to launch their online store before opening the Stockland space to satisfy loyal customers and to attract more customers in a fresh North Queensland market.
The brand leverages its combined eCommerce platform very well with its younger target market as demonstrated by H&M’s launch in London, which showcases the power of the purposefully staged launch of both the “real estate” and “virtual estate” platforms.
A new H&M store is also scheduled to open in Rockhampton. Positions are still being called for the Central Queensland store.
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