You'd think that in a recession, clothing stores would be ass out of luck. You'd be right. Unless you were talking about H&M. The new H&M opened at the fuddy-duddy Westside Pavilion this past weekend. Some 250 people waited in line for the store to open. The first 100 were rewarded with tee shirts and gift certificates (ranging from ten bucks to $100) for their patience. Then, all day, everyone who bought something got to pick out a free goodie from a range of items: a free umbrella, a calculator, a deck of cards, a pen, an organizer.
The Swedes know how to do cheap and popular. The line was out the door, past the mall entrance itself.
The new store is a shiny mega-boutique cutting through two levels of mall. People shopped steadily throughout the day, buying, I'm told, “everything.” Whether that trend continues into the future remains to be seen.
I'm also told that this new Westside branch did well on opening day. When I asked their publicists to quantify that with a dollar figure, they declined to comment.
Top secret stuff this business of $7 tank tops and sparkly ballet flats. Top secret.