Carrie Rengers

H&M to open at Towne East Square next week

The much-anticipated H&M will open at Towne East Square on Nov. 9.
The much-anticipated H&M will open at Towne East Square on Nov. 9. The Wichita Eagle

Seven months after Have You Heard? first reported that popular international retailer H&M likely would open at Towne East Square, it’s happening.

“We’re just super excited,” spokesman Patrick Shaner says.

The 24,000-square-foot store will open on the second level of the mall just outside of Dillard’s at noon on Nov. 9.

This is the second H&M store in Kansas, “which is a pretty big deal, obviously,” Shaner says.

The first is at Oak Park Mall in Overland Park. Shaner says the welcome the company received there is part of what led to the Towne East store.

“It just really is a testament.”

An H&M opening is something like a party.

“Definitely, if people want to come out, they should line up early,” Shaner says. “It’s going to be a great, fun opening.”

He says it’s a party for customers and the approximately 20 employees H&M hired.

“It’s kind of a celebration for them, too,” Shaner says.

“It’s kind of like the payoff,” he says. “They … go out and dance with the people in line.”

The first 200 people in line will receive an Access to Fashion Pass, which is a scratch-off card that offers chances to win between $10 and $300 toward purchases.

Also, like at other H&M stores, this one will offer a bin where customers can donate old clothing for 15 percent off their purchases.

For the opening, anyone standing in line with old clothing will be entered into a drawing for gift cards valued at $50 to $250.

The point is to keep clothing out of landfills, Shaner says.

“We take back in old textiles, old clothes,” he says. “We work with a company to give them a second life.”

He says the company has a goal to have all of its clothing produced from sustainably sourced or recycled materials by 2030, “which is kind of huge for such a large company and retailer.”

Shaner says the company is moving from a linear model to a cyclical one with the help of shoppers.

“We try to engage customers.”

Though the store is opening at noon on its first day, regular hours will be 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday.

H&M is known for some really large stores in places such as New York, but Shaner says this one is an average size for the chain.

Look for a sneak-peek video of the store at on Nov. 8.

Carrie Rengers: 316-268-6340, @CarrieRengers