By Steve Raabe
The Denver Post
A cheering crowd of frugal fashionistas counted down the 10 seconds before high noon, then surged through the doors of the newly opened H&M store in downtown Denver.
A crowd of more than 900 lined up today to await the opening of the popular retailer. At least 100 of the enthusiasts had camped overnight at the Denver Pavilions, enduring temperatures in the 20s.
Before the doors opened, the crowd started at the 16th Street Mall entrance of H&M, snaked down Glenarm Place, then turned back into two levels of the Pavilions.
“I am so freezing. But it’s going to be so worth it,” said King Soopers worker Janell Fresquez, after spending the night in a folding chair. “It’s great clothes for low prices.”
Swedish retailer H&M, short for Hennes & Mauritz, has a cult-like following among customers.
“I’m just dying to get in that store,” said Charlotte Skinner of Lochbuie. “$14.95 for a blouse? $9.95 for a cardigan sweater? Yeah, it’s the price, but it’s the style, too. It’s like they make it just for me.”
The store in the Denver Pavilions is H&M’s first in Colorado. It plans to open another outlet next year in Cherry Creek Shopping Center.
H&M handed out gift cards ranging from $10 to $500 to the first 500 people in line.
By 9 a.m., more than 300 were in line.
Savannah and Ben Kissell camped outside the store last night with their 9-month-old son, Boss.
“Why am I here? It’s fashion, first,” said Savannah. “And hopefully we get a good amount on the gift card. But just being able to say we were here when they first opened, that’s special.”