UPDATE: A major retailer opened up a new location at Hamilton Place Mall. Some customers lined up as early as 5 a.m. and 600 people were waiting to enter.

It’s an exciting time for some, but some businesses are struggling to survive. Over the last several years a lot of stores have come and gone at in Chattanooga. H&M the largest retailer to join the roster of stores at the mall in about a half a decade.

H&M opened up their fourth location in Tennessee, in Chattanooga.

"We’ve just had a really warm welcome from the people of Tennessee so it's a mix of a good customer base and a great location that would be perfect for our store and we found it here at Hamilton Place,” said Patrick Shaner, H&M Spokesperson.

While some businesses are moving in, others are moving out. Harvest Grocery closed last year and Kmart closed its store on Highway 153.

H&M’s new 23,000 square foot store is occupying what used to be seven vacancies.     

Rekesia Grant was the first customer in line for the grand opening, the store gives her hope that new stores can thrive in the Scenic City.

"Bring it back to how it was before, you know popular and big. Back in the day, it was the mall, the 'it' thing to do to come hang out at the mall,” Grant explained.

So why come to Chattanooga? H&M says it's their business model.

"We are really able to grow at a speed that works for us. We also believe in omnichannel growth online is also doing really well for us really encourage our customers to not only going into our stores but online as well we feel that's been beneficial for us,” Shaner said.

The company is also big on recycling; customers can bring in old clothes from any store and receive a discount on their purchase.      

Retail experts say this generation of shoppers care about experiences and causes. It’s what draws shopper into the physical store.

It’s the same trend Hamilton Place has noticed as new businesses open up.

"We just constantly see movement and evolution and as long as it's moving forward and bringing great shopping experiences then we are right on target,” Kim Lyons, CBL Spokesperson said.
It's working, right now the mall and its properties employ more than 17,000 people and generate 400-million dollars each year in sales.

This year Hamilton Place also plans to add two new restaurants before Thanksgiving. 


PREVIOUS STORY: Major clothing retailer H&M, Hennes & Mauritz AB (H&M), will be opening it's doors in Hamilton Place Mall on Thursday at Noon.

This will be the fourth H&M location in Tennessee. 

Store officials say the opening is a big deal for Hamilton Place, and that H&M is the largest retailer to join the mall's roster of stores in about half a decade.

The 23,000 square foot will be located next to Sears and will open at Noon on Thursday, November 2, 2017.

Officials say the retailer carries clothing for the entire family at an affordable price. 

A spokesperson for the retailer tells Channel 3 that they have already hired 20 people and will most likely hire more soon.

"We've just had a really warm welcome from the people of Tennessee, so it's a mix of a good customer base and a great location that would be perfect for our store, and we found it here at Hamilton Place," said Patrick Shaner, H&M spokesperson.

For the grand opening, H&M is giving away gift cards ranging from $10 to $100. 

Mall officials say grand openings usually draw a large crowd, and that partitions will be brought in because they expect the lines to wrap around the second level of the building.

"We are really able to grow at a speed that works for us," said Shaner. "We also believe Omnichannel growth online is also doing really well for us. We really encourage our customers to not only go into our stores, but online as well, we feel that's been beneficial for us." 

With some brick and mortar stores struggling to survive, H&M says they've created a business model that works for them.

H&M is also the first fashion company to roll out a global garment recycling program. Officials say customers can help save natural resources by donating unwanted pieces of clothing while in the store. Customers will receive a voucher for 15% off their entire purchase for each bag of clothing donated.

Officials say to kick off the recycling program on opening day in Hamilton County, customers who bring in garments to be recycled before the stores open at Noon will have a chance to win H&M gift cards valued between $50 and $250, in addition to the 15% off voucher. 

Also in celebration of opening day, H&M at Hamilton Place will offer the first 200 shoppers in line an H&M Access to Fashion Pass, valued from $10 to $300.