Friday, October 16, 2009

By Andrea L. Simon, guest blogger

Rumors have been buzzing and it has now been confirmed that H&M is set to finally make its debut in the Carolinas. The News & Observer reported yesterday that a deal for a 21,000 square-foot H&M store is slated to be finalized in about a week, with the store opening in the spring in--*cue the sound effects*--errrrrrrrr Raleigh?!

Don’t get me wrong; I have nothing against Raleigh. Being the capital of our beautiful state, it frequently tops lists like “Smartest City,” “Best Place to Live,” and “Best Place for Business and Careers.” It will also likely draw a ready-made customer base for the store with several major universities and young professionals easily within driving distance. To be fair, I think Raleigh is a solid choice to host the store. But at the risk of sounding like a two-year-old, throwing a tantrum and stomping my feet when I don’t get my way: What about Charlotte?! We have long since been making a name for ourselves as the new metropolis of the Carolinas, and with H&M, known for being a “big-city” retailer, finally reaching out to our market; one would only assume Charlotte would be first choice.

In about six months, Raleigh will be holding an H&M grand opening like this one. A 21,000 square-foot store is planned for Crabtree Valley Mall.

Sure, Raleigh could argue that we were given the only IKEA in the Carolinas, and maybe it’s only fair that they too are given the opportunity to monopolize a sought-after retailer in the region. But upon hearing rumors that an H&M would finally be coming (clearly I’ve been waiting for this news for quite some time now), surely I’m not the only one who thought SouthPark Mall was a shoe-in! Being that I (like a host of other Charlotte residents) am not a Queen City native, it seems I’m finding new stores, restaurants, and businesses that I was accustomed to in my home state, popping up in Charlotte every day. I have to believe that this is due to a number of businesses taking notice of the ever-increasing population, diversity, and culture that Charlotte is building out of transplants from all over the country; included in this mix, many people who are already familiar with and consumers of their products.

So why, may I ask, didn’t H&M see fit to follow suit? While I’m markedly disheartened that this is not the case, I can only hope that the opening of the Raleigh store will merely be the first in the Carolinas, with announcement of a Charlotte launch not far behind. I guess until then, as one elated Raleigh dweller commented on a recent forum, “Charlotte will finally have to come to Raleigh for something instead of the other way around!”

If you too have an opinion on this, sound off.

To learn more about plans for the new Raleigh H&M store, visit The News & Observer’s article by clicking here.


  1. I would love to shop @ H&M and I'm used to the thought it will only happen when I'm visiting another, larger city. So it makes no sense to me to travel to Raleigh just for that reason. (Obviously I don't have a reason to go to Raleigh these days.) Charlotte has all the other retail I desire. So...I guess I'll wait until it arrives or catch it on a trip to NY or something.

  2. I'm from Baltimore and we have two H&Ms plus three or four more in the surrounding areas. I guess we have H&Ms like Charlotte has Belks. I moved to Charlotte three years ago and I've been hoping that an H&M store would open here. I don't think I'll be driving to Raleigh just to go shopping so I guess I'll just have to wait and hope that we get one soon. At least there's a Neiman Marcus here--that opened the week after I moved to Charlotte.

  3. I've never heard of H&M before but it sounds like a place where the clothes are too rich for my blood. If they eventually come to Charlotte they should open up shop at Eastland Mall. It's plenty of space available there!

  4. this sucks. I've been hoping they would open one here. I'm from Pittsburgh not a major city, and we have 4 h&ms

  5. charlotte is dying. raleigh is not

  6. charlotte is not dying! charlotte has it all over raleigh...raleigh is over-rated and the only thing it has is colleges...dont hate!!!

  7. why southpark? why would the snobbiest mall get the most price-conscious, fashion-forward store? though, to be fair, it would get me to that mall if h&m did show up at southpark. :p yuck.

  8. oh, and having lived in raleigh and charlotte, the only thing charlotte has that raleigh doesn't is a skyline that includes 5 tall buildings. raleigh is far more civilized and far less redneck than this crazy sprawling countryside called "charlotte". this coming from a dc girl who doesn't think a city is a city just because of the "skyline"...


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