H&M Grand Opening: To Camp or Not to Camp?

by - Friday, October 24, 2014

Ever since the grand opening of the Mega Fashion Hall, people are already raving because SM Supermalls, particularly SM Megamall had finally opened its doors to the world’s renowned Swedish fashion retail brand—H&M.
Few weeks back, they had been on a full blast in promoting the brand’s flagship store on social media, prominent blog sites and out-of-home media ads.
People became more excited when the series of surprises were announced before the day that everyone is waiting for.
Surprise 1

Now, who wouldn’t want to snag all of these surprises all in the opening of H&M at exactly 9:00 am?
I went at SM Mega Fashion Hall at October 16, 7:30 pm. I feel hopeful during my trip that the queue is not that long yet because I know that Filipinos are not fond of camping out. I think the only time I heard that the country made history on that was when the One Direction tickets were released earlier this year.
The major question is: Is the grand opening of H&M worth camping for?
Take a stroll with me as I tell you my experience that night before the opening of their flagship store.
I went to SM with my classmate Sam because I thought it’ll be boring if you go there and wait in queue alone. Also, I need to have a companion so that someone can watch my stuff while I go to the rest room.
Prior to everything, I brought my fully charged power bank and laptop with me so that I can still be productive while I’m waiting for the sunrise.
Going back, as soon as we reach the start of the queue, we were in shocked to see lots of people, teenagers in particular, lined up. Because of that, we rushed our way to the end in line. We were so giddy when we found out that we are the 187th and 188th to line up. Whew! That was a close call.
We settled for a bit and caught our breath.
After that, I observed how things worked and saw that the guards allow people to leave their lines for 30 minutes. With the 30 minutes given, you can buy your dinner, take a rest room break, or just walk around after long hours of seating and waiting until the line moves.
After settling down, I got curious on who is the first person to line up at Mega Fashion Hall and since what time is she there in line?
I went at the start of the queue and saw this bunch of people having a great chat. I intervened them and ask who the first person in line is.
The girl on the utmost left is the first one to line up. She waited on the line since 9:00 am. Talk about dedication!
As the night pass by, people are still lining up to become one of the lucky shoppers who will get a gift card. Despite the humid weather, you can tell that everyone is still excited to become the first shoppers of H&M in the Philippines.
In my observance, most of the teenagers lined up came from school, while some are just by passers who had no idea of what lies ahead of them when they line up. I knew someone who was at the MRT when he saw the queue, he went down and checked out what’s with the line, and voila! He is part of the first 200 shoppers who will get a random amount of gift card from H&M.
These guards were all set and for the horde of shopaholics who wanna get first dibs on the 40-50% discounts.
I’ve never tried camping out before. As I was staying on the line, I saw these new friends all set for this and camp out. They had sleeping mats, portable dvd player, dvds, playing cards, and charged power banks to survive the night. I’m happy that these playing cards brought a new group together.
Minutes before midnight came when the H&M Team went to the queue to give midnight snacks—Cinnabon cinnamon rolls, Seattle Best Coffee, and H&M mineral waters.
Everyone in the queue felt their love and gratitude. Apart from the security, they made sure that everyone is safe and is having a great time while waiting for the store opening.
Around 5:00 am, we were asked by the guards to pack up and prepare for the store opening. You can see the excitement as we were being compressed in line to give way for the next batch of shoppers.
According to sources, around 6:00 am, 1900 shoppers were all in line waiting for the staff to allow shoppers to get inside the first H&M store.
Flash mobs were happening in and out of the store to provide entertainment to everyone.
Photo courtesy: @hmphilippines twitter account
We were allowed to go inside SM by 8:30 am. We were welcomed by the limited edition tote bag of H&M Philippines. Inside the bag are a magazine and a nutribar. They never failed to take care of us while we wait.
This DJ is spinning as the clock ticks to the opening of H&M in Manila.
Before the store formally opens, one of the staff finally gave our gift cards. Guess what? I got a thousand GC! :)
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The ribbon cutting ceremony is over. You know what this means….
To sum up my experience, my camp out experience in H&M is so worth it. Aside from the fact that I get a gift card because I was one of the first shoppers, the Team didn’t denied the needs of the people who wanna shop till they drop on the opening. They were also accommodating whenever someone raises a particular concern.
Truly, camp out in the Philippines can be a new thing but it will be easily adapted by the Filipinos. I will not be shocked if H&M will make people camp out for the second or third time around on their upcoming branches.
I know this will not be the last time that a camp out for a big fashion brand will happen. You better stay tuned for the next one! 
Kudos to everyone who made this opening a very successful one! You never failed to mesmerize each of us because of a well-planned and an extravagant launch of H&M’s flagship store.
You can check out what’s inside the first H&M store here.
If given a chance, would you also camp out for big brand launches like this? Share your opinions by dropping a comment below.

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