Ynet has learned that the Globus Group plans to set up an independent cinema in Tel Aviv.
The H&M stores are scheduled to open in spring 2010, about half a year after the evacuation of the movie theaters. The Tel Aviv store will spread over an area of 2,000 square meters (21,528 square feet) on the Azrieli Mall's second floor, while the Jerusalem store will cover an area of 1,700 square meters (18,298 square feet) on the entrance floor of the Malcha Mall.
Four additional H&M stores are expected to open in the cities of Haifa, Petah Tikva, Netanya and Rehovot. They will be located in Haifa's Grand Canyon shopping mall, the Avnat shopping center in Petah Tikva, Netanya's Sharon Mall and the Rehovot Mall.
The stores will measure 1,200 to 1,800 square meters (12,916 to 19,375 square feet) in size. The Haifa store is scheduled to open in spring 2010, while the other three stores will open in 2011.
The H&M franchise in Israel was granted less than a year ago to the Horesh family, the importer of Toyota. The agreement was signed through the Match Retail company, H&M's partner and franchiser in Israel, which was founded in December 2008 with the exclusive goal of opening and operating H&M's stores in Israel.
H&M currently has some 1,800 stores in 34 countries.
No alternative cinema expected
Peer Nadir, CEO of the Azrieli Malls, told Ynet that the movie theaters in the Jerusalem and Tel Aviv shopping centers would be evacuated on the same date.
"Today there is a shift from cinemas in malls to larger complexes like Yes Planet which we built in the Ayalon Mall (in Ramat Gan). In places where the cinemas cannot be utilized to the fullest, we decided to give up on them in favor of stores like H&M which will attract buyers. Cinemas are not necessary for malls."
Will you build alternative cinemas?
"Not at the moment. We have no construction rights for that. The stores will be set up about six months after the cinemas are evacuated in both malls, as this is the period of time needed to prepare for the opening of flagship stores of this sort.
"There is no doubt that the opening of these two stores will change the commerce map in Israel and will strengthen greatly the malls housing the stores," Nadir concluded.
Gali Berger contributed to this report