'Shop-a-holics' tell how H&M is changing CQ's clothing game
LOCAL musician Caitie Hughes had her dream gig outfit in sight as she lined up among 500 shoppers this morning, waiting for H&M to open.
From 8am, Caitie joined many other Central Queensland shoppers who made their way to Stocklands Rockhampton, some as early as 6am.
The self confessed "shop-a-holic" said she can keep her shopping local now instead of looking to Brisbane for major fashion labels.
Not officially opening until 10am, locals waited up to four hours for their chance to be among the first 200 customers in store; a position which warranted a mystery prize bag filled with H&M goodies.
With a sea of just under 500 people in attendance the Rockhampton opening blew Townsville's out of the water, which opened October 19.
Caitie, a Yeppoon local, made her way into town to see what bargains she could get her hands on.
As a local musician, Caitie says she is always after a great look and an even greater bargain for each gig she plays.
So she said checking out H&M was a must on her list.
"I lined up this morning at 8am and was one of the fist 200 in the doors," she said.
"I was just excited to get my hands on the clothes today, I'm a bit of a shop-a-holic I must admit.
"I perform all over CQ so it's really good for me to be able to come in here and buy clothes for gigs."
Caitie said it was great to see more shopping options available to Central Queenslanders.
"It's a new thing for Rockhampton and brings a lot more people from the outer communities who may not have big shopping centres into Rockhampton," she said.
"When we go to Brisbane and up north a bit you get all these shops but we don't really get them here so it is always a treat when we get to go away and shop but now we get to shop here and that is wonderful."
Kellie Taylor, Maureen Muchiri and Agatha Osei-Bonsu were also among the first 200 customers inside the store, arriving at 8.20am to secure their spot in the H&M opening line.
"We were off work this morning so decided to come for a shop and a coffee and rub it in to those at work that missed out," Kellie laughed.
"This will be a great boost for the shopping centre as well. We're very excited for the gift bags."
Muchiri said she was excited to finally have variety when it came to shopping around.
"Rocky definitely needs something like this so we have more places to shop. We have very few shops so I'm excited to see what they have to offer.
"Usually we have to go to major capital cities to access stores like H&M.
"They also stock bigger sizes up to size 24 which is wonderful," Agatha added.
General Manager for Development and Design at Stockland Tim Beattie said they looked forward to continuing to draw the biggest and best brands to Stockland Rockhampton.
"We're responding to our customers' feedback to ensure Stockland Rockhampton remains the retail destination of choice, offering a vibrant and inviting retail, entertainment and dining experience for our customers," he said.
"We are committed to regional Queensland and look forward to continuing to draw the biggest and best brands to Stockland Rockhampton to maintain our lead as the number one shopping destination in the region."
Rockhampton Region Mayor Margaret Strelow extended a huge welcome to the new retail stores, which she says will be well supported by the Region.
"The opening of these stores is another show of confidence in our Region that absolutely loves to embrace new businesses coming to town," Mayor Strelow said.
"We are extremely grateful for Stockland's commitment to Rockhampton. It has been fantastic to watch the transformation Stockland has invested in to expand their services over the past few years."