Shoppers have welcomed news that clothes shop H&M is to move into Hartlepool’s flagship shopping centre.
The high street name is to open a branch in the large unit formerly occupied by Marks & Spencer in Middleton Grange shopping centre.
H&M had been rumoured to be moving into the centre for some time and the company had advertised on the internet for staff for a new Hartlepool venture.
Customers said they will use the new branch instead of travelling to Stockton, Middlesbrough or Durham.
Announcing the arrival on its Facebook page, Middleton Grange said: “We are excited to announce that H&M is coming soon to Middleton Grange!”
Mark Rycraft, Middleton Grange centre manager, said: “We’re thrilled to be able to welcome H&M to the centre.
“This is a fantastic international brand that helps us enhance our already strong and growing fashion retail offer.
“We can’t wait for the doors to open in time for the summer.”
Shoppers have by large welcomed the news. On the Mail’s website, reader Ferrari_2 said: “Love H&M, it will bring much-needed clothes shop to Middleton Grange. I travel to Stockton to H&M - not any more.”
Town resident SteveL_2 said: “A welcome addition to the shopping centre so good luck to them.”
But website user heugher said: “No free parking, get lost.”
On the Mail’s Facebook page James Pearson said: “Good news, love H&M. Normally go to Durham store but will defo go to the Hartlepool store. May more new stores follow - TK Maxx, Pandora, Costa, now H&M, and bringing jobs to the town - it’s good news on the job front.”
It has not been revealed how many staff the new store will employ or exactly when it will open.
Work has been going on for several months now at the unit which appears to have been made larger and has seen the customer service desk relocated upstairs.
Founded in 1947 in Sweden, H&M sells women’s, men’s and kids clothes.
The group includes the brands & Other Stories, Cheap Monday, COS, Monki and Weekday as well as H&M Home.
The company has more than 3,900 stores worldwide.
The flagship store in Middleton Grange Shopping Centre has been empty since M&S moved to the town’s Anchor Retail Park in June last year.