Visitor numbers to Sylvia Park shopping centre increased up to 20 per cent during opening day for international retailer H&M yesterday, the mall's management says.

The figure was a comparison to usual visitor numbers for a Saturday, centre manager Jonathan Douglas said.

Unofficial numbers of people going into H&M itself were estimated to be around 9000 for the day, he said.

Read more: H&M officially opens its first New Zealand store


The spike in numbers wouldn't have been a surprise as keen shoppers began queuing outside the store from 5pm on Friday.

By Saturday morning, more than 1000 people were lined up outside to get in the 2300 square metre flagship shop, which spans two levels.

"It was a very well organised by H&M, they do these kind of things week in week out."

Douglas said 52,000 people came through the centre yesterday which was up between 10 per cent to 20 per cent on a normal Saturday.

Staff at the fashion store had given him a rough estimate of numbers - about 9000 - of people that went through on Saturday, Douglas said. The Herald is waiting for official comment from H&M on customer numbers.

Today was also likely to be a bumper day with queues again beginning to form just before lunch.

"There were queues all day yesterday, which I think is quite unusual, and I just popped down there and the queues have started up again."

Fire regulations state that only a certain number of people are allowed in the store at any one time, he said.


H&M's opening would be the biggest opening the complex had ever seen.

"Just before the store opens you get a lot of people waiting around outside but not a queue as such, so it's certainly the biggest opening that we've ever had," Douglas said.

But the excitement isn't over for fashion lovers with Zara due to open its store in Sylvia Park on Thursday.

He expected that to be a more "softer" opening - minus the DJs and probably not as many queuing outside.

"It's a more mature age group for Zara, but I'm sure it will be equally successful. I think it's great for the centre and it really adds value and puts us one step ahead of our competitors.

"It's great for people in Auckland as they now have these international brands on their doorstep, as opposed to people needing to go to Sydney or Melbourne."

As for having two big store openings in a week, Douglas said it was just pure coincidence.

"We have no control over the openings. We hand over the premises to them and then essentially they run their own race of getting the store prepared and open on time."