Rockys new H&M store. Model Zoe Keleher.
Rockys new H&M store. Model Zoe Keleher. Allan Reinikka ROK011117ah&m7

GALLERY: Exclusive look inside H&M's Rocky mega store

FINAL garments were hung on display today as scores of excited staff prepared H&M for tomorrow's long-awaited opening.

In an exclusive store preview with The Morning Bulletin, the global brand allowed a sneak peek into the picture perfect retailer store.

More than 40 staff bustled around the four areas of the huge store featuring a wide range of quality women's, men's, teenage and kids wear at a bargain price.

 

Although the Rocky store is one of the smallest cities featuring a H&M outlet, Australian country manger Hans Andersson was amazed with the amount of excitement following the announcement.

"We had over 1,500 spontaneous job applications after the initial announcement which was a new record for us in Australia." he said.

Hans, who has worked on building the brand in Australia for the past five years, says Rockhampton was the next progression for the 70-year-old brand.

"It was a natural step for us after having opened seven stores in Queensland," he said.

"It is an important city being the biggest in Central Queensland and we don't think it will be cannibalised at all being 600km from any other outlet."

Walls of pastel and earthy tones lined the store as local model, Zoe Keleher, showed off the best H&M had to offer for Rocky's lucky ladies.

 

Rockys new H&M store. Model Zoe Keleher.
Rockys new H&M; store. Model Zoe Keleher. Allan Reinikka ROK011117ah&m16

The region's agricultural and tourism trade was a huge factor in the decision to move into CQ with Hans saying Shoalwater Bay military base and surrounding mine developments also played a strong part in the bold move.

"It's an important city and we expect it to grow," he said.

"We also have a great professional relationship with Stockland centres in Australia and were thrilled to be able to place an outlet inside the Rocky mall."

 

H&M Australian country manager Hans Andersson. Grand Central opens its retail galleria on September 15.
H&M; Australian country manager Hans Andersson. Grand Central opens its retail galleria on September 15. Meghan Harris

Although staff had already been hired for opening day, hopeful job seekers should stay tuned as Hans said plans were in place to welcome more residents to the H&M family after the initial staff were fully trained.

The H&M brand were careful to not over-hire people with Hans saying they would rather hire less than be forced to lay-off locals after the buzz settled.

"We do hope to hire even more and judging from the number of applicants there is a lot of talent for us in Rocky," he said.

H&M is renowned for it's signature staff opening dance with the Rocky crew rehearsing their killer moves to The Morning Bulletin ready for the grand opening tomorrow.

Despite the nerves that came with every new store opening, Hans said the abundance of enthusiasm and support from Rocky residents put his mind at ease.

 

Rockys new H&M store.
Rockys new H&M; store. Allan Reinikka ROK011117ah&m3

"We are very proud and happy to open our doors in Rocky tomorrow and hope to see many happy shoppers," he said.

"Our brand will appeal to everybody who likes fashion and quality, for the best price, made in a sustainable way."

Hans, who will be cutting the ribbon at the entrance tomorrow, hoped for a great crowd saying the first lucky shoppers were in for a surprise.

"We just hope to be able to deliver and fulfil the Rocky residents expectations and are just so proud to be here," he said.

H&M grand opening is set to impress and starts tomorrow from 9.45am.



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