Swedish retail giant H&M has announced Melbourne’s iconic GPO will be home for its first Australian store.

The owners of GPO, ISPT, made the announcement that H&M’s Australian flagship store, which is due to open mid-2014, will occupy three floors and almost 5000 square metres of the heritage listed building.

Sam Curry, ISPT retail asset manager, said the arrival of H&M will help revitalise Melbourne’s CBD retail precinct.

“We are delighted to have this opportunity to introduce such a famous and highly anticipated international fashion retailer to the Australian market,” he said.

“The H&M flagship at GPO will truly differentiate the city of Melbourne as a retail destination benefitting shoppers and other retailers alike.”

H&M at GPO will be a full concept store offering its own brands, as well as collections by H&M’s exclusive guest-designer collaborations like Karl Lagerfeld, Stella McCartney, Viktor & Rolf, Versace and Roberto Cavalli.

The anticipation of H&M launching into the Australian market has been growing since early 2012. The company first indicated to RetailBiz that Australia was a prospective market and then it made the official announcement early this year it will be opening in Australia.

H&M has nearly 2,900 stores across 51 markets with a target to increase its store numbers by 10 to 15 per cent per year.

It is the latest international retailer to arrive in Australia, following the footsteps of Gap, Zara and TopShop.