While the world’s eyes were on Harry and Meghan this week, Maitland shoppers were focused on a different kind of H&M – the latest addition to Stockland Green Hills.
The global fashion giant opened to much fanfare on Thursday morning, with some queuing up hours early to be the first inside the new store.
The first in line were Heddon Greta mother-daughter duo Tanya and Shelby McBlane.
The pair arrived at the centre to drop another of Tanya’s daughters off to work and decided to hang around for the opening.
Tanya said it was worth the wait.
“It’s something different,” she said. “It’s just really exciting to see Maitland grow.”
To entertain the hundreds who turned up for the opening, H&M staff took part in the company’s traditional “flash mob’ – a choreographed group dance out the front of the store.
H&M country manager Hans Andersson said he was impressed with the turnout of people considering the store was the second H&M in the Hunter after Charlestown opened in 2016.
“It’s better than we expected,” he said.
Mr Andersson said the idea behind the grand opening was to create a positive energy in the store for both the staff and shoppers.
“In each store we can provide stock, prices, fashion but at the end of the day to make people shop it has to be fun,” he said.
“You have to have those positive vibrations, which can only be created by people.”
H&M is one of the final parts of the $414 million redevelopment of Stockland Green Hills. The last piece will be a Hoyts Cinema which is set to open mid-year.