Hundreds of style-starved shoppers rushed into the Halifax Regional Municipality's first H&M store at noon Thursday to celebrate the 14,000-square-foot clothing store’s grand opening at Mic Mac Mall.
The raucous crowd, revved up by psyched staff and pumping music, streamed cheering into H&M’s first Canadian location east of Moncton after the red ribbon was cut.
First in was 13-year-old Matthew Ellis and his mom, Audrey. The two arrived at 6:30 a.m. to secure the front-row spots and had company within 30 minutes.
The Dartmouth youth had shopped at the Toronto outlet and was happy to see one closer to home.
“Nova Scotia doesn’t get too many big brands, so I’m thankful we finally get one,” he said after five-and-a-half hours of waiting.
Asked if he had a budget for opening day, Mathew deferred to his mother.
“Let’s just say we’re going to check things out today,” she replied.
Thursday's crowd was mostly teens and twenty-somethings, but the store sells clothes for men, women (including maternity wear) and children.
“For us, it’s so exciting to come to a new market and be able to bring the H&M brand to new customers,” said spokeswoman Emily Scarlett of the store’s high fashion for low price approach. H&M will employ about 50 people in the Dartmouth location.
Nadine LaRoche, Fashion Magazine’s Halifax blogger, admitted to mixed feelings about H&M’s arrival. Her love affair with the store’s styles used to be a private fling full of wild weekends away to Toronto and Montreal, she lamented on her blog. Back on the streets of Halifax, no one knew her secret.
“But now, with H&M a mere 15-minute drive from downtown, the jig is up,” she wrote.