A new retail store opened its doors at the Columbia mall Wednesday, bringing hundreds of people to shop.
“I love H&M, they don’t really have that many good stores in this mall. I’m just really excited and hope I get a gift card today,” said Destiny Johnson, an H&M shopper.
H&M offers affordable trendy clothes for men, women and children.
While gift cards for some of the first shoppers may have been incentive enough to come to the Columbia mall, general manager Rusty Strodtman told ABC 17 News he feels H&M will continue to attract a crowd.
“Based on the other malls we own and have opened an H&M we have seen positive sales increases for the entire mall once H&M is open because they are such a large draw,” said Strodtman.
Strodtman said H&M is also drawing in other stores that want to build in the mall.
A recent study out by a real estate and analytics firm says about 15 percent of U.S. malls will fail or be converted into non-retail space in the next 10 years.
“Malls have to stay relevant to their customer. Bringing an H&M to Columbia mall is just that. That is our number one requested store that our customers have asked for the last couple of years so obviously bringing them something they want at the mall is going to bring them back to the mall,” said Strodtman.
The H&M store in the Columbia Mall will hire 30 full and part-time staff all from the Mid Missouri area.