Shoppers come by the thousands for H&M grand opening

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Nothing gets Utah excited like moderately priced fashion, a truth discovered as thousands of Utahns made time to visit the sparkling new H&M at Fashion Place Mall in Murray this weekend.

H&M, or Hennes & Mauritz, is a Swedish clothing company, carrying on-trend clothing for men, women, teens and children. H&M has exploded throughout Europe, Asia and North America, finally finding a place of its own in Utah.  H&M’s look is up to speed, reflecting the trends of the runway almost immediately after their initial debut.  The real selling point is the price tag, with most of H&M’s inventory ringing up under $50.

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Fashion fans check out the new H&M store in Murray on Saturday.
The store’s unveiling in Fashion Place Mall last Friday was a highly anticipated debut, complete with masses of eager guests camped out overnight and a team of contracted security enforcement for crowd control.  Affordable fashion is not something to be taken lightly in Utah, it seems.

On Friday alone, more than 5,000 guests traipsed through the flashy new store, finally getting the fashion fix that usually requires a trip to Las Vegas or California.  Hannah Phillips, a junior from the University of Utah, made time to visit H&M on Friday, fighting the crowds for the experience.

“It was mayhem and I loved it,” Phillips said. “It can really only be described as Black Friday status, people grabbing at clothes and even undressing mannequins for their looks.”

Friday’s excitement and turnout were expected, as evidenced by the entire new truckload of merchandise that arrived exclusively for Saturday’s rush.  Despite thousands of overly zealous fashion-mongers, the store stayed relatively well-stocked and supplied throughout the chaos.

“They were obviously prepared for this type of crowd,” Phillips said.  “Otherwise I doubt they would have thought to bring in bouncers.”

Lora Grady, a BYU student from Southern California, first heard about H&M’s new location in April.  Having previously shopped at H&M in Las Vegas and Ontario, Grady braved the monumental crowds for a Saturday shopping trip.

“There was a winding line outside the store, but the wait ended up lasting about 10 minutes,” Grady said. “We were expecting this kind of crowd so we prepared emotionally.”

Lines were a common theme throughout the two-story shopping structure.  Even on Saturday evening, more than 24 hours after the opening, there were substantial lines to enter the store, use a dressing room and check out.  Despite the wait, most shoppers seemed to find their own piece of loot.

Whitney Dewey, a recent BYU graduate from Chile, carried a pile of cardigans, jackets and blouses into the dressing room, pleased with her armful of potential keepers.

“I’m surprised, this store is much bigger than ones I’ve seen  in Vegas or Atlanta,” Dewey said.  “I love it because it’s affordable and cute, I always find something I like.”

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