EXCITED shoppers queued for hours outside a new branch of a major international clothes retailer which opened on Thursday in Priory Meadow Shopping Centre.
H&M, which is known for its affordable line of fashionable clothing for men, women and children, opened its doors this morning to hoardes of customers eager to grab a bargain.
The global retail giant, which employs some 116,000 people worldwide, will create up to 20 new jobs in the town as well as encouraging other big retailers to set-up in Hastings.
John Hough, Priory Meadow’s manager, said: “We have been absolutely rammed and packed to the gunnels. Over a thousand people were queuing. It was packed outside Marks and Spencer and all the way back to Mr Bean. There was music, everyone was excited, goody bags were being handed out and everyone who queued before 11.00am got 25 per cent off.
“There is no doubt that H&M represents a real step change in our offer to customers, and this follows on from the recent lettings to tReds and Pandora which traded very well here since opening. I’m exceptionally pleased to welcome H&M to Priory Meadow and look forward to working with its team.”
“We are very pleased. It’s very positive for the future indeed. And other popular and attractive retailers will show an interest in Hastings.”
The new store is located in Priory Meadow where Evans, Dorothy Perkins and Burton used to be before they moved out of the town in June 2013.
Cllr Jeremy Birch, leader of Hastings Borough Council, said: “The arrival of H&M in Priory Meadow is great news for the centre and for the town. Occupying three units, this will be a key site within the shopping centre, offering two floors of great fashion for all at affordable prices.
“The aim is to keep Hastings residents spending in our town and to attract in people from the surrounding area which is good for business, good for the local economy and good for jobs.”