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H & M to open Polo Park store next October

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H&M will open a Polo Park location in October 2014.

MARK BOSTER / TRIBUNE MEDIA MCT Enlarge Image

H&M will open a Polo Park location in October 2014.

H&M is coming to Winnipeg. Finally.

The Swedish-based "fast-forward" fashion retailer will christen a 25,000-square-foot store at Polo Park Shopping Centre next October.

"We are thrilled to announce our upcoming opening in Winnipeg as part of our continued expansion in the Canadian market. We have been waiting for a great location in Winnipeg and are very happy to have found one at Polo Park," said Toni Galli, H&M Canada’s country manager.

Deborah Green, manager of Polo Park, could barely contain her excitement at the news. She hesitated to call the arrival the biggest in the mall’s history, though.

"That would be like picking your favourite child. This is a retailer that everybody has been waiting for to come to the city. For us, it’s just gigantic," she said.

Local fashion fans have been clamouring for H&M – the initials stand for Hennes & Mauritz – for almost as long as home furnishings lovers lobbied for IKEA to set up in Winnipeg.

They’ve been teased and disappointed in the past. A couple of years ago, H&M sent out a message on Twitter, "Hey Winnipeg! We're looking to expand even further in Canada! Where would an ideal Winnipeg location be? Polo Park?"

And in the fall of 2009, the company advertised on its own website for sales staff in Winnipeg but nothing came from it. A year later, a company spokesman said Winnipeg was at the top of its "wish list" but it needed to find the "perfect location."

geoff.kirbyson@freepress.mb.ca

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