[Source: Jahna Berry, Arizona Republic] — H&M, a trendy clothing retailer, could be shopping for a downtown Phoenix location. On Monday, a Phoenix marketing company called Urban Affair emailed an online survey that asks downtown workers and residents about their shopping habits and their feelings about H& M. Currently, there are no H&M stores in Arizona, but the firm plans to open a location at Scottsdale Quarter, $270 million development that will open at the end of March. H&M has not announced an opening date for that store, a spokeswoman for the retailer said.
H&M has a strong following among the budget-conscious, fashionable set because it has low-priced, European-influenced style. The retailer collaborates on product lines with upscale designers, including Stella McCartney and stars, such as Madonna.
An Urban Affair official downplayed the H&M aspect of Monday’s survey. No developer asked the firm to do it, added Catrina Knoebl who co-founded Urban Affair. “We did the survey to gauge support about downtown retail,” Knoebl said.
The survey doesn’t say where a downtown Phoenix H&M could be located. However, an obvious choice would be the $900 million CityScape development, which is under construction in downtown Phoenix. Through a spokeswoman, RED Development LLC declined to comment about H&M. CityScape is bound by First Avenue, Second Street, Washington Street, and Jefferson Street. The project broke ground in 2007 and crews are building a cluster of shops, offices and restaurants.
H&M has had a long flirtation with the Valley. Before the Scottsdale Quarter announcement, there was talk about a possible H&M shop at Scottsdale Fashion Square and at Tempe Marketplace. Neither shopping center has a store. Generally speaking, H&M may decide to open other locations in the future to serve the Valley, H&M communications specialist Shaneika Haskins. Haskins wouldn’t talk about the downtown Phoenix buzz. “We don’t comment on rumors,” she said.