Jonice Childs, 24, commuted from Washington, DC, and waited nearly six hours for the opening of H&M in Silver Spring. She was the first in line when she arrived at 6:30 a.m., with her son in tow, and was rewarded with a $100 gift card from the company, a Swedish chain of inexpensive and trendy clothes for adults and children.
Michelle Venitez, 20, didn't get to the store until 7:30 a.m., but skipped part of the line because her friend arrived at 6:30 a.m. She won $10 in H&M money.
Childs and Venitez were two of dozens that were not detered by blistery November temperatures and arrived hours ahead of the retail store's 12 p.m. grand opening.
Minutes before noon, two seperate lines stretched about half a block down Fenton Street.
Alexander Rittman, 19, of Takoma Park, arrived at 8:45 a.m. and said he was a little disappointed at the $10 gift card he received. He planned to purchase a few shirts.
"If I had won a lot more money then I would be going home right now," he said. "I might as well stay because it's going to be empty later on today and I have to use this today."
Rittman said he normally shops at Wheaton mall.
"There's nothing to shop for down here except for food, so this is exciting to have an H&M down here," he said.
Natalie Llerena, 16, and her friend, Marjorie Carrillo, 15, both of Gaithersburg, spent the morning away from Watkins Mill High to score a gift card to the store. After standing in the cold for four hours, they both planned to buy scarves and sweaters.
H&M, which stands for Hennes & Mauritz, currently operates numerous stores in the Washington, DC, area, including two additional Montgomery County locations in North Bethesda and Wheaton.
"H&M is thrilled to be entering an area as lively as downtown Silver Spring," said Daniel Kulle, U.S. president for H&M, in a statement. "Customers in the Washington, DC, area have responded enthusiastically about the brand and we have seen great success with our expansion throughout this region."
H&M is located at 8518 Fenton Street. Store hours will be Monday through Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., and Sunday 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Call (855) 466-7467 for more information.