updated 7 Feb 2012, 08:27
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Sat, Sep 03, 2011
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Experiencing Singapore's first-ever H&M
by Mary-Ann Soh

SINGAPORE - After close to 10 months since news first broke that Hennes & Mauritz (H&M) was coming to our shores, ladies & gents, it is finally here.

The flagship store at Orchard Building opens to the public on Sept 3, with a debut of its Autumn/Winter 2011 collection.

For years, Singaporeans have had to fly abroad to countries like Hong Kong or Japan to get their H&M shopping fix - it is no wonder there was so much hype about THIS store launch.

On the eve of the official opening, members of the media and exclusive guests got a preview of the collection and a chance to experience the three storeys and 30,000 sq ft of retail goodness.

As I was crossing the street at the junction of Orchard Road and Grange Road - where the store is located - braving crowds busier than usual, I overheard someone say: "Wow, this feels like Japan!"

Indeed, the new kid on the block, with its glitzy billboards, brings a youthful vibe and a much-needed breath of fresh air to a part of Orchard Road where the atmosphere for shopping was getting pretty stale.

But how successful will the Swedish brand be in Singapore?

Two lower floors of the megastore are dedicated to ladies fashion - for dressy, explore Level 1 and for casual, shoot for Level 2. Men’s & kids' fashion are located on Level 3.

The focus is clear. The brand is cashing in on its strengths of being makers of affordable yet stylish ladies wear and is going big with that.

Navigating around the store is easy because the layout concept is pretty much similar to those in the region - if you are more familiar with those. In addition, changing rooms and cashiers are conveniently located on every floor. A wide selection of accessories for both men & women can also be found strategically near the check-out counters which will cater to the occasional impulse buy.

While you will not (yet) see huge sale sections going at bargain prices, you'll be able to find tops, shirts, trousers & dresses for under $100. Prices go beyond that mark for items like outer coats and blazers. On that note, H&M has definitely entered the saturated high-street fashion market with a competitive price plan.

So to answer my question on success, only time will tell. But judging from my happy buys tonight, I think I will be making my second trip there soon enough, and perhaps, I can say the same for most other shopaholics like me.

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