The Ikea of Clothing, H&M, Versus the Verizon iPhone

H&M ClothingiPhone4 at Verizon

The line outside the Washington Square H&M at 7pm on Wednesday night, February 9, was a bit shocking. H&M, the Ikea of clothing from Sweden,  is nestled between Eddie Bauer and the Apple Store.  The midnight opening was a special premier for mall employees. The line of 100 people, stretching from the Apple Store to Macy’s, waited 3 hours. What’s all the fuss? It ‘s just clothes after all and there’s another H&M in downtown Portland that opened last November. So it’s nothing new.

The noon public opening on February 10 was even more popular. According to the Oregonian, the line began at 5 am and 300 people patiently waited until the dance party began as noon approached. The first 200 people won gift cards. No wonder the event was so popular.

Next door at the Apple Store and around the corner at the Verizon kiosk, the lines were not as impressive. The biggest day of the year for Verizon became slightly disappointing. All the prep work of the VZW employees had little return on investment for commissioned sales people. Employees at the Cedar Hills location just down the street arrived at 4:30 am for the 7 am opening, but only a handful of customers were waiting for iPhones unlike the hundreds waiting for clothes at H&M. If only Verizon offered a free give away, or even balloons.

Verizon pre-sold iPhones to customers via the Internet, which strongly impacted the in-store sales. By my calculations, Verizon Wireless did just fine with renewals of existing customers, but there is still room to grow for new customers. Unfortunately, the sales reps checks may be less than anticipated due to the commission structure which is heavily new customer oriented. But that’s the nature of in-person sales versus the Internet. The Internet kicks everyone’s ass.

The good news for Verizon, however, is that Seth MacFarlane loves his Verizon iPhone and wants to have its children. Thanks Seth, TMI. Visit Seth on Twitter at!/SethMacFarlane.


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