H&M clothier to open new store at Tanger Outlets Westbrook

High fashion, low-price retailer Hennes and Mauritz, or H&M as it is more commonly known, will expand its Connecticut network of stores this fall, adding a 20,000-square-foot location at Tanger Outlets Westbrook.

The Westbrook store will be Swedish retailer’s 10th Connecticut store. H&M opened its first Connecticut store in Brass Mill Center in Waterbury in 2001 and has two other New Haven County stores at the Connecticut Post Mall in Milford and Westfield Meriden.

H&M expects to hire 20 people to staff the new Westbrook location when it opens, said Patrick Shaner, a company spokesman. The company has 16,000 employees at 474 locations across the United States since opening its first store in this country in 2000.

Shaner said having 10 stores in a state the size of Connecticut is “all about giving our customers greater access to all the brands we carry.”

But according to David Cadden, a professor emeritus at Quinnipiac University’s School of Business, having stores so close together could result in the new store cannibalizing sales at the H&M locations that are closest to it.

H&M has stores in the Crystal Mall in Waterford and Tanger Outlets at Foxwoods. The store in the outlet center at the casino opened in May 2015.

Cadden said outlet centers like the one in Westbrook are seeing better sales figures than malls.

“I don’t (expect) their prices at the new location will be appreciably lower than other stores, but they should do pretty well because the goods they are selling are high quality,” he said. “The American consumer wants bargain names at lower prices.

Call Luther Turmelle at 203-680-9388.