H&M Hysteria

I agree with Curbed LA that talking about H&M coming to Los Angeles is beating a dead horse. So I’ve put my entry about my visit this weekend behind the cut to spare those who may not be interested. For those of you wanting to know how bad the lines and inventory shortages are…entry is below.

2006-01-h%26m.jpgLast night, the boyfriend, I, and two visiting friends from San Diego, were wandering Old Town Pasadena in search of dinner. I like Old Town in the same way I like the Third Street Promenade, because I’d rather be in an outdoor mall in a nice neighborhood, than in say, the Beverly Center. But since I don’t go to malls of any sort very often, I haven’t been to Old Town in months.

Which is why I managed to actually forget that the H&M was finally open until I walked past it. At which point, I sort of dove through the doors, and then stood, open mouthed, at the sheer size of it. And at the actual clothes. Of which there were many. Given that the San Francisco store was sold out of inventory for weeks after the big opening, I was shocked to find the store as well supplied as it was.

I asked the cashiers about this when I went back today, and they told me that they’ve been getting shipments in every day to meet demand. And demand is high. The store was actually exceeding occupancy limits, and had a nightclub-style lineup, complete with bouncers and velvet rope, on the sidewalk. In retrospect, it would have been interesting to talk to people in line and find out if they had come in from other parts of L.A., because the Beverly Center opening is still weeks away (Nov 9th). However, it was HOT out (I’d guess in the 90 range) and I was distracted by the frozen yogurt place across the street, so my investigative journalism will have to wait unil a cooler day.

If you want your Eurofashion, here’s the very obvious things you need to know:

1. Do not go at peak shopping times. If you must, bring water, because you will be outside waiting.
2. Change room lines are INSANE – I think it was a thirty to forty minute wait – so I suggest buying your clothes, taking them home, and returning them if they do not fit. I did that with mine, and I was in and out of the store in less than forty minutes – counting shopping time.
3. Focus on one rack at a time. Because if you look at everything in the store at once, it will overload your circuits. I almost lost it when my brain tried to process too many things I actually wanted at once.
4. As a side note, the background music instore is also fabulous, which is good, because the lousy music choices are one of the myriad of reasons I avoid Gap and Old Navy wherever possible.

That’s it. Good luck, fellow shopppers!

(Photo above also from Curbed LA)

8 thoughts on “H&M Hysteria”

  1. oooh, thanks for the scoop! As soon as I allow myself to buy clothing again, I’ll be there. By then the lines should be a bit shorter…

  2. I was soo disappoointed with H & M . After all the hype you’d think they were offering gold for pennies. Everything is made of some sort of poly acetate blend that attracts a ton of dust. All of it is imported from the far east. The designs were bad copies of last years designs and were not up to date. Blouses that looked soft and frilly were ichy and stiff. The best part of the store was the socks, and accessories but you’d do better at Forever 21 or even Target. Personally for the same price I’d scour the racks at Loehmann’s or Nordstroms rack and get the real stuff for less.

  3. This H&M is amazingly small compared to the ones I’m used to in NYC, but it’s still pretty good. There is a huge amount of lint/dust in the store and I can’t quite figure that one out.

    I’m looking forward to more selection in the Beverly Center (men’s clothing, hello), but will probably avoid it until after the holidays. I disagree with Suzanne, the clothes are extremely hip and up to date and the quality is high. I have items from 7 years ago that I wear almost daily and they have held up extremely well.

    Here’s the thing about H&M: if you don’t like what’s in there one day, come back in a few weeks and there will be an almost completely different selection of clothes that you will love. They really experiment and change constantly. Sometimes it’s exactly what you are looking for, sometimes it’s totally whack.

    Their prices aren’t as drop dead amazing as they were when they first came to NY but they’re still quite good and the quality and cut of the items is fantastic. It’s so worth it. Just give the hysteria some time to die down and you will fall in love with it, too.

  4. RE: Penny’s remark: I’ve wondered, as I’ve heard conflicting reports, does this H&M carry men’s clothing? Or is it just a small selection? If someone could help with this knowledge, I’d appreciate it.

  5. Why do WE get H& M last – is it so hard to build in LA – is it hard to ship to LA – are we not the 2nd biggest city in the nation – and SF gets it first – that sqarely pisses me off.

  6. The Beverly Center store will be the only one so far to carry men’s clothing. Also when exactly is that one opening because it was supposed to be Oct 26th? Also you have to love how Kuwait got their H&M a few weeks before LA. It just isn’t right.

  7. It’s kind of a let down if you go to Europe and H&M is just sort of . . . there – on most High Streets (that’s Brit for “Main Street” or basically the mall.

    If Ikea and Old Navy had some eurotrash kids – they’d be little H&Ms.

    Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy H&M – but it’s a bit like a crush that’s cooled into a rather boring affair. Cute, cheap accessories, and cheap, super trendy pieces, some cheap standard items (t-shirts, tanks, etc), a few pieces that will actually last longer than the next few monhts . . . . It certainly benefits on the West Coast from its mystery. As a commenter mentioned – there’s one every few blocks in Manhattan, it seems.

    It’s okay to love it, but don’t feel too bad that you didn’t have one for a long time – Forever 21 and Wet Seal pretty much cover it.

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