Raymond was nice enough to come with me to the Flatiron (5th Ave. at 18th St.) store.
We got up at 5, in line just after 6, and the line was about 50 people long.
Not too bad! At around 7, H&M employees/security came out with a loudspeaker and explained the system. People would be let in the store in groups of 30, with each group having 15 minutes to shop. We ended up being near the end of the second group, let in at 8:25. They began letting people in around 8:05, and they scheduled five minute cleaning/restocking breaks in between groups.
There were some interesting people in line. Two ladies had my short Plus J Uniqlo coat. The two in front of me chain smoked for hours. These two ladies were a few people ahead of me and were wearing items that were very similar to the ones being sold.
At 8:20, we were let in the doors and we went upstairs to the Marni area where we waited in a blocked off line right in front of the tiny little shopping area. It was nice to be able to scope out what to grab first! Here's the view from below; I was way too excited to take any pics while I was up there.
It was actually really fun! The other people waiting were generally friendly and happy, and the employees pumped us up by yelling "Go Team Green!" etc. (referring to the color of our arm bands) and counting down the minutes and seconds until we got to go in.
When we finally got there, it was civilized madness. Everyone was focused and fast, but still polite. Since there were only 30 of us and they had just restocked, there was plenty of most things for everyone. The only thing I heard a complaint about was the lack of small sizes for some of the shorts. A lady I met in line also told me later that she couldn't find the silver shoes she wanted, or a couple of the dresses.
The quality of the line was pretty good! Honestly, I felt a bit oversaturated when it came to the women's clothes, but I really loved some of the men's items for me! I grabbed a bunch of the women's accessories as well, including two bracelets, the sunglasses, one of the layered necklaces, and two sequin collars.
The line was still going strong when I left.