Great news for South Island fast fashion lovers and retailers alike: H&M has announced it will be expanding into the South Island in the new year.
H&M said more information surrounding the store's opening will be provided later on, prior to its opening.
The brand first entered the New Zealand market earlier this year when it opened a store at Sylvia Park Shopping Centre in Auckland. Shortly after, it announced another store would be opening within Auckland's CBD at the Commercial Bay development, which is slated for late 2018.
The move marks H&M's first endeavour beyond Auckland and shows its taking the roll out of its stores seriously, with three New Zealand stores announced within less than 12 months.
Retail analyst and First Retail managing director Chris Wilkinson says the announcement is great news for Christchurch's retail precinct.
"The greatest challenge [in Christchurch] currently is that while retailers have had to make the move back into the CBD it's really a chicken-and-egg situation, as there isn't really enough shoppers to make the equation stack," he says.
"Those that are there and have opened recently still have some time to wait before there are enough residents, workers and tourists located nearby to deliver a successful audience. It will happen, however that has taken longer than anticipated.
"With H&M's announcement, that will help prise shoppers away from the popular mall locations such as Riccarton and Northlands. This is a very exciting move and one that inner city retailers will be celebrating."
The Crossing is Top Retail co-owner Philip Carter's $140 million development located on the corner of Cashel and Colombo St.
One of H&M's competitors, Topshop, which Carter has a 25 percent stake in, has announced it will be opening a store in the centre in early 2017.
Much like H&M and Zara's decision to both locate to the Sylvia Park shopping centre, these international giants choose to group within the same precincts to mutually benefit from the foot traffic (and to keep an eye on the competition).