Posted: Nov 11, 2013 1:50 PM by Brynne Whittaker, KOMU 8 Reporter
Updated: Nov 11, 2013 7:35 PM
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Chamber of Commerce said the decision for a new H&M store is a good example of increased national interest in Columbia's business community that reflects the city's strong economy.
"It's a tell-tale sign of a lot of good things that are going on in Columbia," Chamber of Commerce President Matt McCormick said. "It's a great store and has a very good following especially with the young crowd and Columbia being a very young city, it has a very good following from different folks, so we're excited to see it."
McCormick went on to say the increased interest in Columbia is because of increased population and the diversity within the city's business community.
"The economy in Columbia has been fairly stable through the last number of years even through the recession," McCormick said. "Although things weren't necessarily great, things weren't necessarily overly bad. We weathered the storm pretty well and that's due to the diversity of our business community and how our business community is made up. And then, so your starting to get these national chains and national stores like H&M taking a look, they take a look at the demographics of the community. It's a great demographic community that fits in their model of target customers."
Columbia Mall manager Rusty Strodtman refused to go on camera but told KOMU-8 News roughly seven stores would be displaced because of the building of the new 20,000 square feet H&M. Strodtman would not say where in the mall the new store will be or which stores will be displaced, but hopes to be able to announce the location in the next month.