H&M reopened the doors of its Oxford Circus flagship on Thursday with a bang.
A queue of a couple of hundred keen shoppers formed in time for the 1pm launch, snaking around the store and down Oxford Street itself.
Seconds before the doors were opened music began blaring out of the store, as staff cheered, danced and sang along to Dizzie Rascal. They spilled out onto the street, no doubt hoping to whip the shoppers up into a frenzy – but although they raised more than a few smiles, their enthusiasm was hard to match.
Unlike some H&M launches, once the doors opened it was less a mad dash for must-have limited editions and customers ventured in with curiosity and interest.
The store itself is impressive, with a whopping eighty fitting rooms and even a photo booth on the third floor. Here’s what a couple of shoppers thought of their first visit.
The layout is neat and stylish, and the front of the store has been creatively styled by blogger Susie Bubble, as well as certain chic pieces around the store branded ‘Susie’s pick’.
An H&M spokeswoman told me: “Everything has changed in the store, from the new central escalators to the increased shopping space. Each floor will have a different feeling with unique interior fittings and specially designed displays. We want this flagship store to constantly surprise our customers.”
At 14 months in the making, it’s no surprise the staff are excited about the new look, and H&M is banking on shoppers celebrating too – yesterday was the first of a four-day launch event, which will include DJ sets from the likes of Daisy Lowe and Florence and the Machine (albeit minus Florence…).
But having seen the buzz around the launch H&M sister brand & Other Stories last week, the re-launch attendees seemed somewhat unenthusiastic in comparison.
It appeared to me as though the difference in ‘type’ of custom between the two stores was reflected in a very type of reaction to the two store openings. Listening to the girls at & Other Stories beaming with excitement at the prospect of getting hold of items perfectly matched to their personal style seemed a far cry away from the nonchalant attitudes of these H&M shoppers.
Clearly H&M were thrilled at the prospect of an Oxford Street relaunch, but whether or not their customers are remains to be seen.