_H&M RE-FASHIONS MELBOURNE GPO
Popular Swedish clothing company H&M last week celebrated the launch of its first Australian store in the iconic Melbourne General Post Office (GPO) building.
Collie provided town planning services to H&M and managed the submission of a planning permit application to the City of Melbourne to facilitate the occupation of the retail sections of the building.
The GPO Building was originally adapted for retail use in 2004 and was occupied by a range of smaller specialty stores prior to H&M moving in.
The GPO building is listed on both the Commonwealth Heritage List and Victorian Heritage Register and is recognised as being one of the most important public buildings in Victoria.
Permits for both internal and external works were required from Heritage Victoria in addition to the planning permit for various aspects of the external works and signage.
The approved works include removal of non-original finishes, replacement of the canopy to the Elizabeth Street addition, works associated with the new shop fit out, display of advertising signs and minor works to the facades. While the use of the building will change quite substantially, the architectural features of the building will remain unchanged.
H&M opened its first store in 1947 and is now the second largest global clothing retailer with approximately 2,500 stores worldwide. It is expected that H&M will continue to expand in Australia and is looking at possible new stores in Sydney, Brisbane and elsewhere.
The new Melbourne store is one of the largest H&M stores in the world, occupying the ground, mezzanine and first floor levels of the GPO building.
H&M opened to the public on Saturday 5 April.