These People Stampeding for Balmain x H&M Have Never Worked Retail
As a former retail associate, I would like to extend my deepest sympathies to H&M workers everywhere. The fast fashion retailer unveiled its Balmain collection today, I assume as a kind of real-world preview to Black Friday for its more bright-faced, naive seasonal workers, and also to torture all the rest.
In an attempt to cater to those members of the general public who can't afford designer clothes but desperately wish they could, H&M partnered with the fashion house to provide the alternative: Balmain designs paired with synthetic materials that maintain their largely unaffordable price tag. Still, a beaded velvet jacket with the Balmain name slapped on it for a mere $549 is cheaper than the real deal. Worth it, I guess.
But according to various reports, multiple stores saw hundreds of people camped out for days awaiting the collection's official unveiling, and H&Ms everywhere were largely ill-prepared for the Day-Of stampedes. Despite the fact that shoppers turn up in mass quantities every year to rip retail stores apart during the holiday season, they all have yet to implement a more effective way to deal with your typical retail pangs, like an unusually high volume of customers and of rudeness. The above video is what every retail associate who has ever worked a huge event like this sees in their mind's eye before they die.
And it turns out it was largely for naught: The majority of those shoppers left empty-handed. Most stores were wiped clean of all product early on, and while you'd think you're better suited to just ordering online, it looks like H&M has yet to hire an efficient IT team. The website crashed early this morning, leaving most people Balmain-less and angry.
For the masochists out there who missed the collection but wish to remain well-informed on everything you missed, check out the full collection over at Fashionista. And for the under-compensated, over-worked sales associates who are still turning jilted customers away with a smile: You are the true heroes.
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