By  on June 20, 2008

ATLANTA — Hennes & Mauritz drew a crowd for the opening of its first store here.

About 850 shoppers waited in a line that wrapped around the block last Friday as the Swedish fast-fashion behemoth launched its only full-concept store in the Southeast. The two-level, 24,000-square-foot space offers women's, men's, children's, accessories, lingerie and swimwear, priced from $5.90 to $69.90.

The location will be the only Atlanta unit to offer one-off designer collections, which have included cobrandings with Stella McCartney, Viktor & Rolf and Karl Lagerfeld, among others.

The store, which is the second of four locations slated to launch in the Atlanta region by the end of the year, is in Atlantic Station, a 138-acre, mixed-use development in the city's Midtown section that is anchored by Dillard's and Ikea. The setting "is the perfect fit," said H&M spokeswoman Jennifer Uglialoro.

Key summer offerings include bikinis that start at $9.90; bright, floral dresses from $19.90; African-inspired jewelry and handbags from $5.90 to $7.90, and scarves from $12.90.

More than 500 people attended for a preopening, private shopping event last week that offered customers a 25 percent discount on all merchandise. A navy weekender bag for $59.90 was the bestseller, Uglialoro said.

The promotions continued on opening day, with the first 300 customers receiving an H&M T-shirt and gift cards ranging from $10 to $500.

Next up are the fall openings of two more Atlanta-area units at Town Center Cobb, a suburban mall 15 miles northwest of downtown and in the Mall of Georgia, in Buford, Ga., 30 miles northeast of the city. In May, the retailer opened at the North Point mall in Alpharetta, Ga., 20 miles north of downtown, where it offers only women's and young women's separates, dresses and accessories.

H&M's next one-off collection will be designed by Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garçons and is set to launch in mid-November, coinciding with the opening of two H&M stores in Tokyo.

H&M has opened about 1,500 doors in 29 countries and 250 stores in the U.S. since its New York debut in 2000.

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