H&M brings New York-style fashion and bargains to Vancouver

"Do you have the same merchandise here as the New York stores carry?" I asked the tall, friendly cashier at the one day-old H&M store on Granville. She laughed. "Definitely."

"I get the feeling that Vancouver is finally..." I struggled for the word. I'd been eagerly awaiting the opening of the three-storey Swedish store, which is almost twice the size of the Coquitlam location, at Pacific Centre. Now, here it was, the biggest H&M in Canada.

"...hip?" she said.

"Yes!"

"You sure have a lot of check out people. How many check out people do you have in this store?"

"I'm not sure," she said. She counted seven check out people at her station. Then she figured there were three other check out stations. "We have about thirty check out people," she said.


"People are going wild in here over all your great stuff. Has it been as busy as this since you opened?" I asked. A line with about ten people waited behind me.

"Oh, my God, this is nothing," she said. "Yesterday, the lines went all the way around the block."

"Holy!"

"Out onto Georgia."

I, too, had been excited about H&M's first downtown Vancouver store. Finally, cheap, high styled clothes, like the kind I'd been used to grabbing on the run in Manhattan. I wanted to come to the opening, but work got in the way.

"They do bags pretty well," I said.

"Yeah, great bags, and for under fifty dollars."

"Pretty good men's clothes, too."

"The suits are rad," she said. "Hundred and forty dollars for a stylin' suit jacket."

As she rang up the fourteen dollar jacket I purchased for my son, the music blasted and the escalators moved people up and down, and shoppers browsed racks of clothes that seemed endless. It felt a little like New York. Prices without an edge. Fashion with an edge. That's the H&M I loved in Manhattan.  And now it's here.

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