The store opened this past weekend to a lineup of folks hoping to cash in on door crasher coupons valued at between $10 and $300.
So why did it take so long to finally open the doors?
I should preface this all by saying I have no specific knowledge about this deal. But, I can make a few educated assumptions.
The rule of thumb is that the bigger the commercial real estate transaction, the longer the period of time it will take to put it together. No two deals are alike, but I can say with certainty that a transaction like H&M would require some significant planning to execute.
Takes time to cook up
There is a likelihood that H&M was working for many months prior to the press leak that they had arrived at a deal for a Regina location.
Taco Bell, for example, shopped for literally years before we starting seeing them pop up in Saskatoon.
There’s also good chance that H&M was scouting both Saskatoon and Regina at one point.
When they finally settled on Regina, I can safely estimate the lease negotiations with Cornwall representatives took months.
Typically there are landlord and tenant improvements that will be required to set up this type of retailer. The landlord, in the case the Cornwall Centre mall management, might have completed significant renovations to the space prior to H&M taking possession.
And then of course, H&M would have needed time to put its own mark on it.
Regardless of who did what to prepare the space, I’ve heard they took a rumoured 25,000 square feet. That’s a lot of distribution for fixtures, mechanical, electrical, flooring and paint.
From Regina . . . to Saskatoon?
Considering it hasn’t been made public that H&M is even coming to Saskatoon, I’ll warrant a guess that we might not see them any time soon.
That said, we know the former Sears space at Midtown Plaza is undergoing change, so another H&M might already be in the works.
I have seen site plans which follow through with a prediction I made earlier that Sears will be divided up.
In this concept, the mall extends from the common hallways on each floor.
There are definitely a few options under this plan, in the 15,000- to 30,000-square-foot range, which could accommodate a retailer like H&M.