H&M Wait Finally Ends

H&M's new Galleria store draws a crazed crowd, lured by special event fever: Hundreds line up and wait

H&M's new Galleria store draws a crazy crowd, lured by big event fever

H&M Houston Galleria Opening
In case there was any question, H&M loves Houston. Photo by Heather Staible
Alexander Wang for H&M
And Houston loves Alexander Wang. Shoppers stood in line for two hours for an opportunity to shop the collection. Photo by Randy Brooke/Getty Images for H&M
H&M Houston Galleria Opening/Alexander Wang
The Alexander Wang/H&M collection was behind glass cases. Photo by Heather Staible
H&M Houston Galleria Opening/Alexander Wang
Those lucky enough to land Alexander Wang items, checked out through a special line. Photo by Heather Staible
H&M Houston Galleria Opening/Alexander Wang
The sporty collection was a big hit with Houston shoppers. Photo by Heather Staible
H&M Houston Galleria Opening
The women's collection spans two floors. Photo by Heather Staible
H&M Houston Galleria Opening
Alexander Wang for H&M
H&M Houston Galleria Opening/Alexander Wang
H&M Houston Galleria Opening/Alexander Wang
H&M Houston Galleria Opening/Alexander Wang
H&M Houston Galleria Opening

H&M opened its fourth Houston area store — and more importantly, it's much-anticipated first Inside the Loop store — in The Galleria Thursday, but it was the highly sought after Alexander Wang collection that sent shoppers into a real frenzy. Hundreds of people lined the second floor of The Galleria for a chance to shop the designer collection that exudes a sporty/biker vibe, and will assuredly be the fast fashion loving crowd's most coveted get.

 Hundreds of people lined the second floor of Galleria for a chance to shop. 

Timing is everything, and H&M’s new two-story store opened the same day as the Wang unveiling, amping up the party atmosphere at the grand opening. Music thumped, employees danced and cheered and shoppers took no time scouring the store.

More than 600 people lined up before the new H&M's noon opening on a weekday, with the line snaking around The Galleria's second level.

To shop the Alexander Wang collection, shoppers needed a wrist brand and then it was all up to the shopping gods. Red wrist bands were granted first access to the cordoned off area and 20 people at a time were allowed 20 minutes to shop. The Wang boxing gloves were still nicely encased, but enthusiasts were snatching up the scuba look tops and biker jackets with a wild look in their eyes.

H&M staff expected to race through the entire Wang collection by 2 p.m., but the store limited the number of same items shoppers could purchase. To add to the exclusivity of the event, shoppers were escorted by H&M staff to the dressing rooms and the checkout line. And yes, there was an Alexander Wang item only checkout line.

Beyond the Wang collection, The Galleria store caters to men and women. Other local stores also carry children’s clothing, but the new location is a special treat for men, with a comprehensive first-floor department, complete with shoes, accessories, jeans, blazers and more. The women’s offerings span two levels and take a girl from workday to nightlife. The 23,000 square-foot store is also home to lingerie and the H&M+ line.

The Galleria store launched its global garment recycling program at the opening, asking shoppers to donate old and unwanted clothing in exchange for a 15 percent off voucher on their next purchase.

You can bet there won’t be an Alexander Wang in those recycled bags.