H&M Gears up for Crowds at Downtown Denver Store Opening


By: Penny Parker

The Denver Post

Posted: 11/09/2011 01:23:13 PM MST
Updated: 11/09/2011 02:56:44 PM MST

If you’re thinking of showing up at the new H&M store that opens at noon Thursday in the Denver Pavilions, expect to see more than 1,000 metro-area fashionistas waiting in line.

When the Dallas store opened earlier this year, the line of roughly 1,200 people started forming at 7 p.m. the night before, according to H&M spokeswoman Pansy Tolou.

The much-anticipated Denver opening of the international chain that carries women’s, men’s and children’s clothing will likely feed the frenzy that has built from the H&M faithful who had to travel out of state to get the fashion-forward bargain prices the store is famous for.

That demand also is pent up because H&M does not have an online system for ordering merchandise, Denver retail experts say. Website shopping for the store will launch next year, Tolou said.

The 21,000-square-foot store, inside the former Niketown space on the 16th Street Mall, will open with a collection of fall, winter and holiday clothing.

On Wednesday, employees — many from other cities flown into Denver for the opening — dressed mannequins in layered looks, rearranged racks and spiffed up the place for the opening VIP party beginning at 7 tonight. Last-minute steaming of outfits was on the to-do list prior to the party.

The Denver store will carry sections like men’s suits (priced at around $250) and the Versace line (coming Nov. 19) that’s not carried in every H&M outlet.

One of H&M’s biggest draws are the prices. Tables and racks of merchandise are marked with a price sign rather than a merchandise description like sweaters or coats.

On opening day, deeply discounted specials will be offered for that day only.

“Price point is one of the biggest draws at H&M,” said Tolou, sporting an H&M black leather jacket and flowered tapered pants. “It’s an important message to customers. We buy in such high volume, that we can offer lower prices.”

H&M, a Swedish company whose full name is Hennes & Maritz AB, operates roughly 2,300 stores worldwide. Denver is No. 230 in the U.S.