Tuesday, March 16, 2010

H&M Opens in Jerusalem

My 17 year old daughter had been reminding me every day for a month that the H&M Swedish clothing chain was set to open in Jerusalem on March 16th. That seems to have been a hint to "Save up your money, Ema." This morning as I drove her to school, she reminded me again, "This is it. H&M is opening." I said softly, "How nice," not wanting her to be more disappointed than she already was, that she had to go to school instead of to the big opening.
On the way home, I decided to pop by the Mall to see if there was any H&M excitement brewing on site. I was surprised to find that at 11 AM, a pretty long line of women and teenagers were already waiting to get into the store at Noon. Security was everywhere! After hearing about the massive hysteria at the H&M in Tel Aviv (did they think Elvis was going to make an appearance), I'd have thought folks would stay away from Jerusalem Opening Day. Tel Avivians rampaged into the store as if they were giving clothing away. And leftists demonstrated against opening H&M in our dear "oppressive" country.
But Jerusalemites would not be deterred. There they were, women and teens, sucking their H&M lollipops, pouring through the H&M catalogue and eager to walk down the red carpet into the new store.
I asked them why they'd wait so long to visit a store that they could just easily walk into tomorrow or the next day. The women on line just turned their backs to me. That was kind of wierd.
Passersby were taking pictures on their phones and describing the scene to their friends. "I can't believe how many women are waiting to go into H&M." "It's so crazy." "You should see what's going on here."
A red carpet was laid out in front of the store. Perhaps that meant that everyone who entered H&M would be treated like a celebrity. That would be a refreshing service.
Having browsed through the H&M catalogue, I'm not quite sure what the big deal is. The clothing looked like ...clothing.
No matter. We wish good luck to the new H&M, as well as all of Israel's stores. And may the Jewish people have many happy occasions to shop for.
On Voices TV, you can watch the crowds gathering before the opening bell at H&M: http://voices-magazine.com/voices-videos.php?id=117 .

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