One of the world’s largest fast-fashion fashion retailers is expanding its footprint at the MOA. H&M has announced a new and larger location at the megamall, increasing from 25,800 square feet to about 40,000 square feet. Slated to open this fall, the new two-level store will be located in the new north wing at Mall of America, across from the dual-level Zara that opened a little more than a year ago.
Like its original MOA store, which opened in 2005, the new store will carry clothing and accessories for women, men, and kids. The retailer also has stores in Woodbury Lakes in Woodbury, Maplewood Mall in Maplewood, Southdale Center in Edina, Calhoun Square in Uptown Minneapolis, Crossroads Center in St. Cloud, and Rochester.
The addition helps fill the not-yet-half-full north wing, which is also home to a luxury JW Marriot hotel, office tower, and shops including Anthropologie, TOMS, and a third-floor food court that includes Shake Shack, Piada Italian Street Food, Disco Fries, Melt Shop, and coming this summer, Sweet Jesus. (It will the first U.S. location for the irreverent, controversial Canadian soft-serve chain.)
The announcement comes on the heels of H&M’s latest quarterly report released last week, which revealed that the fashion giant has $4.3 billion worth of unsold clothing. In the report, it blamed “unusually cold winter weather” on slow sales for spring garments. It’s a surprising shakeup for the Swedish retailer, which has 4,700 stores around the world and has been consistently aggressively growing its business over the years.
The downswing in sales could be attributed to some recent controversies surrounding the retailer. In March, H&M drew the ire of many when it slapped a lawsuit against a graffiti artist, who had accused the retailer of using his artwork in one of their commercials without his permission. The brand’s Uptown store was vandalized with graffiti on the heels of the legal tussle. (It subsequently dropped the lawsuit, bowing to public pressure.) In January, the retailer also came under fire for an ad that featured a black child wearing a sweatshirt with the words “coolest monkey in the jungle,” which caused a social media backlash and forced the company to close stores in South Africa.
In other MOA news, Nordstrom at Mall of America is one of 25 Nordstrom stores in the country to carry Sweaty Betty, the buzzworthy, London-based athleisure brand known for its fashion-forward designs. Launching this Thursday, the brand is geared toward taking you from the gym to the street with bum-sculpting leggings and mixable layers. And this summer, the MOA will be the first Minnesota location for trendy prom dress and teen formalwear retailer, Windsor Fashions.