So, the store opening was 11/11/11 at noon. I decided to camp out for this grand event. There would be gift cards and door prizes for the first 500 people and shopping :) I prepared by getting out my camping chairs, blankets, wearing leggings under my pants, wearing wool socks and boots, wearing a ton of shirts and sweaters and coats, having hats and gloves, snacks and hot cocoa.
I read an article about another H&M opening this past year and the article said people started getting in line at 6am. I thought I would be fine getting in line around 6:30am... but as I pulled into the shopping center the parking lot was already full!!! I ran to the doors and I was the last one that was allowed to be inside (well I was in the first set of doors so it was like an icebox when people walked through). Chris' cousin, Kalie, did my hair the week before and she knew about my camping out plan. She got a hold of me the night before and said she was in and would camp out with me. I had gotten to the line first but the security guy was nice and let her in with me so we could wait in the inside of the building. Everyone else was forced to be outside in the 30 degree temperature.
As we approached 10:30am, two people came through the line and handed us these cards (like in the picture) which were not gift cards, but gauranteed us gift cards and a spot in line. It was really handy because all of the sudden people would try to sneak in line closer to the opening but H&M employees and the security were there and told all of us if we knew anyone that had snuck into line they would throw them out. They did an awesome job regulating everyone.
As we got around 11:15am, we were given our real gift cards (as we turned in the first cards we had received) which we scratched to find the amount we received. The cards varied, most everyone got $10 it wasn't dependent on where you were in line. We were hoping that was the case but it was not. There was a girl like 30 people in front of us who got a $500 gift card and she and her friends were allowed to go ahead of the line. It was sad, her friend got a $10 gift card. Oh well. Around 11:40am employees came through the lines to give us a goodie bag. It had this really cute H&M Utah shirt (ugh I look horrible, long day) and a H&M bag, pen, catalog etc.
The last ten minutes before the opening took forever. Kalie and I had our plans when getting in the store. The employees all danced around and got us excited and there was a grand countdown. I think what they did is that they let in a certain amount of people and then would let 20 people go in every few minutes. I don't know for sure. Even though we were about the hundreth people, we got in within 10 minutes. We divided and conquered and boy there was a ton of people in there. My strategy was anything I liked I wouldn't think twice and just grab it in my size if I liked it. I was in there for a few minutes and I realized the signs that were "Opening deals". I targeted those signs (there wasn't that many) and from that I got their pencil skirts for $10 (which was great because mine don't fit anymore). So many people had gotten there before me, but in the far back they had peacoats that originally were $60 but they were $20. I have been looking for a black peacoat so I got that one and a 'salt and pepper' colored one as well :) There were other deals scattered but not that many. The store itself has great deals anyway.
The upstairs has cute baby clothes, maternity, and some other things. The men's section was big as well. My sister in laws came a little later, and when we visited them in line around 1:30 ish, I was surprised that all the 500 gift cards had already been given away. I didn't try on my skirts and dress that I got until I got home. The lines for the dressing room were HUGE so I decided to buy everything and exchange it later. I went home and changed and ate and Kalie told me the line for H&M had shrunk so I was weak and I met her back there so we could go in again. I wanted to see if one of the coats I got was another size and the pencil skirts I found, I bought them in two different sizes so I was going to return one back. When we went there again (we probably got in again around 3) so many things were gone. I didn't see a lot of the pencil skirts, and there wasn't many of the coats left as well.
Wow, what a crazy day. It was so much fun, even though originally camped out for a gift card I was surprised that getting in the store early had it's benefits. I ended up finding the coat in my size the next day (one left from a return I assume) and I LOVE it!!!! It was worth camping out, I had a great time.