Worldwide popular Swedish retailer, H&M opened in Cape Town at 10am on Saturday 17 October 2015. H&M is known for its guest-designer collaborations such as Jimmy Choo, Versace and Kim Kardashian’s all-time favourite: Balmain.
Naturally, H&M’s opening caused a major buzz. This is one of the first stores I’ve known about that received such a huge following. I honestly don’t even remember people making a big fuss about Zara or Topshop like they are with H&M.
Shoppers had to register at The Lookout in town. Once registered, shoppers received wristbands and then the long wait began. Some dedicated shoppers even queued overnight.
A red carpet, flashing lights, booming music (and loads of security) were the main attraction at the V&A Waterfront, the other stores were practically empty. I decided to avoid the long queue and went to the store at 7pm. The staff welcomed shoppers with friendly smiles and chants of “Wooohooo!” as groups of shoppers lined up to take selfies in front of H&M and rushed in to start shopping. The line moved quickly and within 5 minutes I was in the store, overwhelmed with no idea where to start looking for items.
Obvious observation: the store is huge! Two stories and various collections such as boho, teen, office wear and casual. The store has a modern look with pretty lights and lots of changing rooms. (I obviously made a Snapchat story while I shopped)
H&M had a few bargain and sale items because of the opening: basic tank tops went for R99 and tshirts for R149. However some items range up to R800 for a fringed handbag and R3000 for a suede jacket.
The store stayed open until midnight with staff members working shifts until 7am the next morning.
H&M’s opening is definitely one for the books and will give SA stores a run for their money for the next few months. Some think that the H&M store is only catering to a certain demographic. Who knows, maybe the prices be more affordable in the future and we might even see a collaboration with South African designers?
H&M store openings will make its way around SA, starting with an opening in Sandton in November.