Shoppers camp out for 60 hours to get bargains

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 24 November, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 24 November, 2010, 12:00am

After many hours of queueing patiently, more than 1,000 people snapped up everything from a new designer range offered at bargain prices by clothing store H&M.

The Swedish clothing company launched its collaboration with French high fashion house Lanvin in about 200 stores worldwide yesterday, including four in Hong Kong.

Queues began to form outside the store's Central branch as early as Sunday evening - which meant more than 60 hours of mid-town pavement camping before sales began yesterday morning.

Security guards were in position at the stores from 11pm on Monday night in anticipation of the queues.

About 500 people were outside the shop when it opened its doors at 8am yesterday, most having arrived on Monday night, a spokesman said.

At one point the queue stretched from the shop in Queen's Road Central to Stanley Street.

About 400 people were outside the Canton Road branch in Tsim Sha Tsui, and about 200 people outside the other two branches in Elements, West Kowloon, and Langham Place, Mong Kok.

Each shopper was allowed into a designated area for 10 minutes, and they were barred from buying more than one item of each product.

On offer were about 30 womenswear products, 15 accessories, 25 menswear products and 10 accessories. The entire menswear collection was sold out in two hours, and the women's collection before 1pm, H&M said.

With Lanvin dresses usually costing tens of thousands of dollars, almost all items of the 60-piece collection were offered at less than HK$2,000.

But it seems there was a price to pay for the low price, as a customer later groaned on Facebook, the internet social networking site: 'It was a hot mess and a lot of the clothes did not look anything like they did in the video or books.'

Many shoppers had apparently paid people willing to stand in line for them.

A shopper said she saw domestic helpers sleeping on the pavement to reserve the places for their employers.

'It was like a refugee camp outside H&M,' another shopper said. 'We hired someone to start lining up at 7pm on Monday and we went to take over at 5am - still quite hectic.'

H&M has also previously collaborated with big-name designers including Karl Lagerfeld, Viktor & Rolf and Roberto Cavalli, which also drew a vigorous response.