Carrie Rengers

Much-anticipated H&M store finally is open

UPDATED – If you were looking for a party Thursday morning, there was a big one outside of the new H&M store at Towne East Square.

The 24,000-square-foot store on the second level of the mall just outside of Dillard’s opened at noon, but the first shoppers began lining up just before 8 a.m.

About an hour before the opening, a DJ began blasting music from the store, and employees and shoppers danced and sang in front of it while curious employees and shoppers around the mall poked their heads out of other stores to check out what was happening and snap photos and videos.

Wichita State University sophomore Pavitra Paramesuvaran was the first shopper in line.

“It’s great,” she says of the store. “I am so excited. I’m grabbing, like, everything I see because I’ve got a $300 voucher.”

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

Paramesuvaran and three other friends from school brought books to study while in line, but eventually the scene became so festive, there was no studying possible.

H&M sells to women, men and children, but it’s especially popular with teenagers and young adults.

Tyler Bounsing, who is in his early 20s, says he’s used to having to shop at H&M elsewhere.

“I always get excited when I, like, travel to Los Angeles, Dallas – any big cities,” he says. Bounsing says H&M is “always in trend.”

Paramesuvaran and her friends say H&M clothes are fashionable, reasonable and comfortable.

Viveka Ravindran, also a WSU student, was in line behind Paramesuvaran and received a $200 voucher.

“I’m, like, spending it really wisely,” she says.

Paramesuvaran can’t believe it.

“What’s wise?” she says. “It’s H&M!”

Carrie Rengers: 316-268-6340, @CarrieRengers