It's official. H&M, the hip Swedish fast-fashion chain, has signed a deal to open a store in Tampa's International Plaza this fall.
While speculation has been rampant for months, neither side was willing to say anything until mall manager Taubman Centers Inc. secured a lease. That happened Tuesday when Taubman confirmed it inked a three-mall deal with H&M including a huge L-shaped space at IP that was cleared recently of several storefronts from the former Adrenalina to a relocated Build-a-Bear.
At IP, H&M will face one of its biggest rivals, Forever 21, in a space directly across the hall and twice its size. Zara, its other big rival, is upstairs. H&M specializes in trendy, budget-priced clothes, some of it created by top designers, for young men and women.
The mall also will add three other new stores by the Christmas holiday season.
The Art of Shaving, an elegant male pampering emporium owned by Procter & Gamble's Gillette, is setting up shop. Stuart Weitzman shoes and an Henri Bendel luxury boutique also will open at IP this fall, Taubman said. Weitzman takes over vacant space that once housed Movado while Bendel, a unit of the Limited that sells cosmetics, handbags and fashion jewelry, takes over the Crane & Co. location. Crane, a stationery store, moved to WestShore Plaza two weeks ago.