There's no way the gigantic white wood partition that stretches along the first and second floors of Siam Paragon can be invisible to onlookers and frequent visitors to the shopping and entertainment complex. Bearing the omnipresent italicised red logo, and an advertisement focusing on a price range on par with budget garments at any Bangkok outlet, the world of fast fashion that resides within the white partition symbolises a dream of shoppers, and also a potential threat to many retail chains and designers, both local and international.
H&M is coming to town, and like all its fast fashion predecessors that landed in the Thai market earlier, Zara in 2006 and Uniqlo last year, it's likely to create a similar, or even greater buzz with its public opening on Sept 29.
That's not unexpected. The H&M Thailand chain, managed through a franchise arrangement with Hthai (Thailand) Co Ltd, has been causing quite a stir since its conception. The retail giant's first foray into the Kingdom sees it occupying two floors, totalling 3,300m2 _ the one and only duplex at the shopping centre _ and it's a huge headache to the Siam Paragon team who had to request a number of automobile marques and fashion luxury houses (Bentley and Balenciaga, that is) to move to accommodate the mass fashion chain.
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