A 10 second countdown celebrated the opening of New Zealand's flagship Topshop store, as about 1200 eager shoppers snaked blocks of Queen Street in a bid to be the first buyers.

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Auckland teenager, Jessica Ropati was the first to enter the glass doors when they officially opened at 10am this morning. She arrived at 8pm last night, spending an epic 16 hours camped at the front of the queue, peering through the windows making a mental shopping list.

The 19-year-old spent $1100 on her Topshop haul - four jackets, three pairs of jeans, a pair of pants, a t-shirt, singlet, shirt, skirt and dress - made a little lighter thanks to a $500 Topshop voucher gifted to her for her patience. The first 300 people in line received a reward.


Watch: Topshop's first shopper Jessica Ropati talks to the Herald Online

Auckland teenager Jessica Ropati, 19, who was first in line, shares her purchases with nzherald.co.nz.

"They were looking after the people that made the effort to come last night and hang out," she told nzherald.co.nz, excitedly exiting the store after about 40 minutes shopping inside.

Jessica said she was a regular Topshop online shopper but her sister had visited the Sydney store and was very impressed with the 1200sq m, two-storey Auckland outlet.

Upon opening, the store was stocked with 2300 different options for retail junkies, with 45,000 items hanging on the racks to be snatched up.

Queues line Queen Street for the opening of Topshop. Photo / Jason Oxenham
Queues line Queen Street for the opening of Topshop. Photo / Jason Oxenham

"I can assume it lives up to expectation," Jessica said.

"I'm stoked, I couldn't be happier, I'm coming back, maybe not in the next two weeks because I don't want to have to wait in any of these lines, but I'll be back."

Watch: Jessica, first in line for Topshop Queen St

Auckland teenager, Jessica, and her friend will have spent 16 hours waiting for the grand opening when the doors are thrown open at 10am.

Topshop Topman New Zealand managing director Jamie Whiting was in the store today, and said this level of enthusiasm was expected.

"We expected this much, judging this is the opening of a flagship Topshop Topman store in a new territory," he said.

Barker's managing director Jamie Whiting and Karen Walker secured the New Zealand rights to Topshop. Photo / Chris Gorman
Barker's managing director Jamie Whiting and Karen Walker secured the New Zealand rights to Topshop. Photo / Chris Gorman

"Topshop Topman has cult status around the world, created by a relentless pursuit for new ideas and fresh designs."

Whiting was coy about expected day one sales, but told nzherald.co.nz: "We're modest with our expectations, but the first couple of hours have been extremely rewarding."

Gallery: Take a look inside Topshop Queen Street

Whiting reassured shoppers that the racks will be re-stocked throughout the day and after closing this evening. Going forward, the store will receive up to three new drops of product a week, in 300 new styles.

The store will feature threads just 10 days behind what's on the racks in the UK and prices will be comparable to what shoppers spend online plus shipping, Topshop New Zealand brand manager Sarah Harris said.

There will also be a selection of "counter-seasonal" pieces, allowing Kiwis to dress appropriately for the season. Products range in price from the $4.50 nail buffer to the $440 Topshop Boutique ruffle dress.

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New Zealand's first Topshop has been in the pipeline for three years - ever since Kiwi designer Karen Walker and her husband, Mikhail Gherman, planted the seed for the British chain's expansion to New Zealand.

Walker partnered with Whiting, also Barker's MD, and Christchurch rich-lister Philip Carter to form a new company, Top Retail, which secured the rights to own, develop and operate the London-based brand across this country.

The Topshop team are currently scouting for locations in Wellington and Christchurch. The opening of the bustling Queen St store will bring 55 new jobs to the country, from the floor staff up to styling managers and PR.

Topshop, majority owned by British tycoon Sir Philip Green's Arcadia Group, is known for its "fast fashion" - affordable collections based on the latest catwalk trends - and collaborations with designers such as Celia Birtwell and Christopher Kane.