H&M's 42,000-square-foot flagship at 4 Times Square will open Thursday with a perfect storm of buzz and insanity. For one, it's opening at 12:01 am. And in addition to being the first store worldwide to offer Isabel Marant for H&M, it will also host Lady Gaga.
Gaga is making an appearance to promote the launch of Artpop (which will be available to buy), and, in addition to cutting the ribbon, has promised to interact with customers and shop for several hours. The store will be open for 24 hours, during which there will be several promotions announced via a digital countdown in the store. For instance, in addition to other giveaways, the first 1,000 customers will receive an "Access to Fashion Pass," valued from $10 to $1,000. You could also be one of 20 shoppers to win a meet-and-greet with Gaga herself.
The store, expected to be the retailer's most productive in North America, will also be home to several new technological innovations. The coolest one in our opinion will be the ability to pay for purchases in the dressing room. That should save a lot of time checking out at the store, which, given its location, will probably be pretty consistently busy even when Lady Gaga isn't present.
Externally, there will be two 30-by-20-foot LED screens hanging on the Broadway and 42rd Street sides of the building, which shouldn't look too out of place in the middle of Times Square. There will also be several LED screens inside the store -- 7,000 square feet of LED screens in all -- one of which will display a digital runway on which shoppers can "strut their stuff." Guests' runway images may also be projected on external screens, FYI, as well as on their own social media platforms.
We're, of course, most concerned about the Isabel Marant collection. How high is the demand going to be, really? Daniel Kulle, president of H&M North America, told WWD, “Isabel will sell out in less than a week.” Better get in line now.