Updated story:About 250 people were in line around 11 a.m., with the line growing. A dance party broke out in front of the store.
Original story: The wait for those Columbus-area shoppers craving an up-close H&M experience is nearly over.
The popular Swedish clothing retailer, which is in major expansion mode across the U.S., will hold its grand opening at noon Thursday at Peachtree Mall, 3131 Manchester Expressway.
The new 21,217-square-foot store is located near the mall’s center court, adjacent to the Victoria’s Secret lingerie outlet.
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Mall general manager Chris McCoy said he is anticipating a good-sized crowd in advance of the opening, which will include various giveaways. The mall typically opens its doors at 7 a.m. for those wishing to use it for strolling exercise. That means those queuing in line for the H&M opening will be able to do so in air-conditioned comfort rather than wait outside.
H&M is expected to give “Access to Fashion Pass” scratch-offs to the first 100 customers in line, with values up to $300, said mall marketing manager Angela Cleveland Jacks. Tote bags, umbrellas, cosmetic bags and key rings also are other items being given to customers away, she said, while those making a purchase of $50 or more on opening day will receive $10 off.
Prior to its Columbus store, locals either had to visit H&M locations in other cities such as Atlanta or shop online.