The new H&M store in Trafford Center has a huge HOME section, no windows and automatic checkouts instead of tills

High street retailer H&M is reopening its Trafford Center store, and honestly, if you’ve ever been there, you won’t recognize it. Starting tomorrow morning (April 14), shoppers will be able to indulge in the newly renovated store, which looks brand new.

Inside, you’ll find no windows, a whole new (and amazing) household items section, and more self-checkouts than you’ve probably ever seen before.

READ MORE:The £6 B&Q plant that will ensure no mold grows in your home or flat

Let’s start with the part that got us most excited – the HOME section. Following demand from shoppers in Manchester (we buy the most H&M homewares outside of London), the retail giant has decided to introduce its own home section to its Trafford Center store.

This means you can browse household items in person, rather than having to order something off the internet and hope for the best. In its homewares section, you’ll find just about everything you need to decorate your home – or give it a little update on a budget.



H&M has launched a huge HOME section at the Trafford Center

The prices are also reasonable. You can grab a cushion cover for £3.99, or a huge ceramic flowerpot for £8.99 – prices rival Primark, and it’s all gorgeous. H&M have even opted to get fresh plants supplied by Manchester florist Frog Mcr to go with their selection of flowerpots (plants cost around £8.99 each, depending on what you buy), so you don’t have to need to use artificial plants or travel all the way to a garden center to get the finished look.

Shoppers can’t buy anything until the store officially opens tomorrow, and I never wanted to get back to the Trafford Center sooner. That says a lot about the quality and price of H&M’s in-house offering because, let’s be honest, who *really* wants to brave the hectic world of the Trafford Center over the Easter holidays for a pot of flowers?



H&M Trafford Center's new HOME section is already a big hit with bloggers
H&M Trafford Center’s new HOME section is already a big hit with bloggers

Sure, you’ll find the usual clothing sections you’d expect to see in an H&M store, but what you might not expect is the lack of windows. In this post-Covid world, the retailer has decided to ditch the Trafford Center store windows altogether in a design that H&M says is the “first of its kind in the world”.

We spoke to Chris Clare, Head of Expansion for H&M UK & Ireland, about the decision to choose Manchester as the base for this ‘world’s first’ design. He said: “Customers in Manchester are very individual and fashion-conscious. I also think Manchester has a spirit – it’s a unique spirit that you won’t find anywhere else in the country, and that’s why we love it here. It really is a unique city.”



There are no windows inside the new H&M Trafford Center store
There are no windows inside the new H&M Trafford Center store

Speaking about the decision to have a windowless store, Chris said: “H&M’s aim is to be a leading destination for style, creativity and culture, so the store design should reflect that. By having no windows, we’ve created a world-leading, modern and welcoming shopping experience like no other.”

I wasn’t sure when I first heard about the lack of windows. I was concerned that the store might be venturing into the territory of stores like Hollister, which are a field of mind to browse without night vision. But you know what? It looks really good. It feels like a more upscale store and the lighting completely opens up the space. I’m a fan.

In addition to windows, H&M has removed traditional staff-manned checkout points to make way for self-service checkout areas, which should help reduce queues and waiting times, according to Chris .



The store is now mostly self-service
The store is now mostly self-service

He also told us that the decision to use mostly self-checkouts instead of staffed checkouts will help free up staff to provide more customer service – which is important to H&M. He did, however, ensure that staff were available at all times to assist at the self-checkouts when needed.

If you don’t want to use a checkout at all, you can click and collect using the H&M hub locker service. They basically look like the Amazon lockers you see, but in the H&M style.



If you don't want to use a checkout at all, you can click and collect using the H&M hub locker service
If you don’t want to use a checkout at all, you can click and collect using the H&M hub locker service

Chris, who is from Bolton himself, also mentioned that the store will now have a welcome area, which will allow customers to feel properly welcomed and ask the staff for help with anything. they could research. He told us: ‘We think it’s inviting and welcoming’, and that’s what the people of Manchester like to hear.

More than 100 people are employed by H&M at the Trafford Centre, but its dedication to local people and local businesses doesn’t stop there. The Trafford Center store is committed to working with local businesses to showcase what Manchester has to offer.

As mentioned earlier, Frog Mcr provides the plants you’ll find in store, but they’re not the only local business you’ll find inside. This weekend there will be several local businesses inside to showcase what they have to offer.



First look inside the new high-tech H&M store in the Trafford Center
First look inside the new high-tech H&M store in the Trafford Center

These include:

1. Live studio: where customers can have their photo taken in front of a unique installation created by Mariel Osborn. Photos will be taken by emerging Manchester photographer, Jada Giwa.

2. Flower arrangement masterclass with Frog Florists

3. Calligraphy workshop with Mellor & Rose

4. 1-2-1 Beauty Masterclass with Elise Ferguson

Over the next few months, more and more companies will appear in store, so it’s worth keeping an eye out if this is your kind of thing. You will be able to discover the new H&M Trafford Center store from tomorrow morning.

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