At last the big day arrived — H&M opened in Houston at noon on Thursday and more than 1,000 shoppers lined up to get a peek at the new store in Baybrook Mall. Some fans of the fast fashion chain had arrived as early as 3 p.m. the previous day in order to be first in line.
While shoppers waited for the store to open, H&M managers and staff ran around inside putting final touches on everything. From 9 to 11 a.m., members of the media were allowed inside to interview store officials and get the privilege to shop.
Shopper Tekere Edokpa said the store was like a madhouse and she hadn’t seen anything like it. “I love that H&M moved here,” Edokpa said, “but this is pretty crazy.”
A live DJ, buffet and drink tables were set up for the special guests to enjoy the new store. And before it opened, all the employees came into the mall corridor and danced the "Harlem Shuffle" with excited shoppers.
As 10:30 a.m. rolled around, H&M staff member Nicole McMullen said she couldn’t wait for the doors to open. “I am at a loss of words because I am so excited,” she said.
With only a half an hour left before the store opened to the public, Marie Tran, the winner of CultureMap's H&M Outfit Contest, was allowed inside as one of the special guests who had the privilege to shop early. She won a $100 gift certificate and a 30-minute head start on the rest of the shoppers.
“It was really cool to win,” Tran said, “and I didn’t think I was going to. I just did it for the ‘kick of it’ and I actually won.”
She was still seen shopping when the store opened at noon. It soon filled quickly and officials had to limit the number inside.
Shopper Tekere Edokpa said the store was like a madhouse and she hadn’t seen anything like it. “I love that H&M moved here,” she said, “but this is pretty crazy.”
H&M spokesperson Nicole Christie, one of the stars on NBC’s Fashion Star, said the chain is thrilled to have so people come out to the grand opening. “There are well over 1,000 people in line,” Christie explains, “and we are so excited.”