Eager fashionistas lined up early Thursday morning for the high noon opening of clothing store H&M at the Spokane Valley Mall.
The international retailer based in Sweden opened its first store in Eastern Washington this week, offering its full collection of clothing for men, women and children – even maternity. The new store joins five locations in Western Washington and more than 2,600 operating globally.
H&M spokeswoman Nicole Christie said the company is in expansion mode and has analyzed the greater Spokane area as a strong market close to customers in Canada and Montana.
In September, the company announced the grand opening and predicted a long line of shoppers. Some of those fans did not disappoint and started their lineup on Wednesday for an overnight adventure in the mall.
Others trickled in throughout the morning, such as 27-year-old Jennifer Jacobson, who described herself as a hipster farmer from Medical Lake. She showed up at 6 a.m.
Jacobson said she had her eyes on a pair of floral print leggings modeled in the front window. Leggings and dresses are great for farming around alpacas and goats, she noted.
With 30 minutes to go, the mall’s hallway exploded with music and store employees dancing to a mash-up of music by Diana Ross, the Notorious B.I.G. and Sean “Diddy” Combs, giving the line of shoppers a show.
“I figured they would do something cool – making it fun for an old lady like me,” Jacobson said, adding she listens to similar music around the farm.
The surprise dance party bounced from one entrance to the other, energizing the crowd. The dancers wore clothing featured inside the store.
Christie said they produce dances for each store opening to engage customers. Support staff are brought to the store’s grand opening to help with the edgy production.
The new store isn’t H&M’s biggest, but the 20,000-square-foot venue holds its complete inventory, with the majority of clothing priced under $100.
It targets customers between ages 15 and 35.
H&M hired about 40 employees for its opening. H&M, which stands for Hennes & Mauritz, opened its first store in 1942 in Sweden.