Clothing retailer plans new store in the mall

VIENNA, W.Va. — A global clothing retailer will open in the Grand Central Mall in the site of the soon-to-be-closed Elder-Beerman, company representatives announced.

H&M plans to open its first store in West Virginia by fall 2018, the company said.

“Grand Central Mall is proud to bring H&M to the Mid-Ohio Valley area. This is an exciting time for Grand Central Mall as we continue to diversify our tenancy, offering a dynamic selection of fashion forward retailers alongside a mix of popular dining and entertainment options, as well as events and activities throughout the year,” Jody Hopkins, manager of the Grand Central Mall, said.

H&M will use about 20,000 square feet of the available space, Hopkins said.

“As for the previously announced closing of Elder-Beerman, retail brands come and go and that has always been the case in the retail industry,” he said. “Our plans to reposition the space begin with the exciting addition of H&M. We will share more details once we are able.”

Elder-Beerman announced the closure of the mall store on Tuesday. The closure anticipated after the Christmas holidays will impact 54 employees.

The site originally was the Diamond department store when the mall opened in 1972. It later was Stone and Thomas, then Elder-Beerman.

“You hate to lose those established businesses,” Mayor Randy Rapp of Vienna said.

The closure of Elder-Beerman follows an announcement several weeks ago that Kmart in Vienna also will close.

However, the news of a new retailer will move into the mall only days after the Elder-Beerman closure was announced is a positive from the situation, according to Rapp.

“I’m encouraged by it,” he said.

H&M is part of the H&M Group based in Sweden. The company was created in 1947 by Erling Persson, who opened the first store Hennes, Swedish for ‘Hers,’ in Vasteras, Sweden.

“The new H&M location will offer Vienna residents a one-stop shopping destination for quality clothing for the whole family, with collections for ladies, men and teens, as well as separate ‘store within a store’ sections for accessories,” a release from the company said. The Grand Central Mall location will also carry the H&M Kids collection for newborns to 14 year olds.

The breadth and variety of H&M collections make it easier for any consumer to find fashionable products, no matter their personal style. With an emphasis on design, quality, and sustainability, H&M offers inspiring, high fashion at an unbeatable value.”

H&M, which came to America 17 years ago, employs about 16,000 people in the United States. It was the highest ranked fashion retailer on Forbes America’s Best Employers list for 2017 and was named on Business of Fashion’s list of Best Companies to Work for in Fashion.

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