Comment: In with the new in Bucharest's Old Town (and people queuing at H&M)
The most recent H&M opening in Bucharest's Old Town, the first H&M shop in Romania located directly on a shopping street, and not in a mall, gathered hundreds of people who wanted to see what the new store was about just after it opened its doors to the public.
I was not surprised to see so many people queuing there, I would have expected even more I guess. Together with a few fellow journalists, I got to visit the new store a few hours before the official opening on Thursday, November 7, when it was still quiet on the Lipscani street. Yes, being able to check out a store and its merchandise without having to use my elbows to make room among the shelves with clothes was a blessing. I also got to see the floor dedicated to home products, the H&M Home part.
I got to see, yet again, how much of a footprint consumerism and Western European brands and shopping experiences have left in our lives. And I'm saying it as a mere observation, without judging, I like shopping too, so I could never throw the first stone!
By the looks of it, H&M is indeed leading the way to bringing shopping to the Old Town, so that was not all PR talk by the company. It is true there are some small shops here and there in the Old Town as well, but let's face it, most people go to that part of the city to eat and drink, and not to shop. I would love to see that changing, and now I have a stronger feeling that will slowly happen.
The only thing I would have liked to see, however, would have been the use of a historic building in the design somehow, or mimicking some features of the nearby houses. As it is, the H&M shops stands out quite a lot amidst the old buildings around it. It makes for a nice picture, new and old side-by-side, but I am a bit worried of what will happen with the old eventually.
But I will be excited to watch the centre's transformation happening month after month, and I am curious to know what is the next big shopping brand that will land in the Old Town.
Corina Chirileasa, firstname.lastname@example.org
(photo source: H&M)