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Don't Get Lost in H&M's Dizzying New Herald Square Flagship

A glimpse of the 2,000-square foot women's footwear department
A glimpse of the 2,000-square foot women's footwear department

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The first thing you'll want to get at H&M's Herald Square flagship is a game plan. At the Swedish retailer's 13th Manhattan store, opening to the public today at noon with a John Legend performance, there's four floors of merchandise totaling 63,000 square feet. That makes it the largest location in the world, eclipsing the Fifth Avenue flagship by 6,000 square feet—and it can be easy to get lost.

Luckily, all that space means that the brand had plenty of options when it came to the retail layout. H&M opted to create dedicated sections for categories like denim, swim, lingerie, activewear, and—for the first time—shoes, making your shopping experience not that much different from visiting a department store like the neighboring Macy's.

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Entering from the corner of 34th Street and Broadway into the glass-facaded, 35-foot high atrium is its women's trend collection—if you're looking for the latest high fashion-inspired looks, this location will have more of it than any other area store. The rest of the women's merchandise (including the departments mentioned above, like that 2,000 square feet for shoes) is on the second floor, while kids 0-14, maternity, and home share the third floor and men's is concentrated on the lower level.

This location certainly has more merchandise than its (very) nearby locations at 435 Seventh Avenue and diagonally across 34th Street, both of which will remain open, the brand confirmed to us yesterday. And it's got some high-tech features, like heat sensors in its 40 dressing rooms to let staffers know when rooms are occupied, along with "try-and-buy" stations that let you check out straight from the dressing room (avoiding another potential long line at the register).

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However, you might be better off waiting to shop here for a day or two—aside from the Legend appearance, a handful of shoppers were lined up as early as 1:30pm yesterday to snag gift cards valued between $10 and $1,000 for the first 1,000 customers to shop up for the opening.