Cheltenham shoppers flock to new H&M store
DUBAI, London, Hong Kong, Singapore and Manhattan's Fifth Avenue all have flagship H&M stores – and now Cheltenham does too.
On its opening day, the tills were ringing as shoppers packed into the three floors of H&M in its prime position at the entrance to Regent Arcade.
The aisles of clothing and accessories were full of customers browsing and carrying handfuls of garments on hangers to the changing rooms and then the tills, as staff in black and red T-shirts ran to keep the shelves and rails stocked.
Manager Ash Tamam said: "It's been a fantastic opening; we've got a DJ and face-painters in specially, and we've got a nail bar just for the next few days. There's been a really good turn-out."
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Mr Tamam said he'd moved from Swindon to manage the Cheltenham store.
He added: "I'm loving it here. This is a flagship store. It's really good to be here."
Customers emerging from the store, which is decorated in cool Scandinavian white, agreed it was good to have the Swedish chain in Cheltenham.
Dorothy Marsden, 39, who lives in Cheltenham, came out with a sweater for her husband and lots of children's wear.
She said: "It's great to see shops opening in Cheltenham rather than closing down. Anything that brings people here has got to be good."
The shop was so crowded that Sarah Wood, 23, came out empty handed.
She said: "It was good but too busy.
"I'm definitely going back later when it's calmer.
"It's really good for the town, we have got pretty much all the good shops now."
Town centre manager Martin Quantock agrees that it's good to have H&M in Cheltenham, and he still has ambitions for other major shops to come here.
He said: "The two I'd really like to see in the town would be John Lewis and Zara the clothes shop.
If we got those two then they would be the final pieces in the jigsaw."