Hundreds of shoppers lined up outside H&M eagerly awaiting the grand opening today..

Some as early as 7 this morning in hopes to receive a prize giveaway..

"Free money... free clothes..."

"It's really crazy. In Mankato it's on a Thursday and its noon so it's really crazy.”

"I'm so excited I just can't wait for all the things this store is going to do for the community. It's going to be great."

But today isn't just about having a new store to get clothing, it's also just one example of how the mall is bouncing back after losing a few retailers earlier this year.

River Hills Mall General Manager Andy Wilke says, "2017 has been a transformative year for the River Hills Mall. Adding a global retailer is a huge deal. We've had seven other stores that have moved and invested in their stores in the mall as well in addition to H&M."

First Costumer Mac Babcock says, "This mall caters to a lot of southern Minnesota so I'm sure it's going to bring in a lot of new people and a lot of people will be excited that they don't have to go to the cities that there's new styles they can try so I think it will be good."

The new retailer brings a new style selection along with multiple job opportunities for the community.

Wilke says, "They hired about 20 people for their store they're going to probably hire more during Christmas but also all the tertiary jobs, all the contractors, the deliver people, the construction people that we had built this. It's a big deal."

Putting a pin on the map for Mankato, the mall hopes this drives more traffic into town.

And as far as the mall goes, this won't be the end of new things coming to town.

Wilke says, "We always have plans. It's to be determined as far as when we'll announce those but we're always looking forward a year to two years for what's going to be the next big thing for Mankato."

--KEYC News 12