H&M want to be in Sutton for a “lifetime” as the fashion giant opened the doors of its new Sutton High Street store to hundreds of new customers.

Around 500 people who queued for hours before it was officially launched, at 11am on March 28, were treated to a quirky dance before heading inside.

Alongside being given a goodie bag and offered refreshments, the first 200 customers were also rewarded with a 25 per cent discount wristband to use on the day.

H&M’s much-anticipated arrival, taking over the vacant BHS store opposite to the St Nicholas Centre, has come following its official announcement earlier in March.

But after Sutton Guardian was granted an exclusive first peek inside, we wanted to know why the Swedish clothing retailer opted for here as its next destination.

READ: EXCLUSIVE: First look inside the new H&M in Sutton High Street

Moritz Garlich, H&M Group’s head of expansion for the UK and Ireland, said: “We've been evaluating for a long time where to expand further our business. As you know, we're already quite well-expanded in the UK but we really found with Sutton - especially Sutton High Street - a gem to open a new fantastic H&M store.

“When we open stores like this we do extensive research beforehand. Looking at the map, Sutton really covers for us a very big catchment that is, so far, untapped. We have a bigger store in Croydon, we have a more local store in Epsom and then, more to the north in Kingston is where we have also a bigger store.

“But with this fantastic tailored store to the local community we can really guarantee that Sutton will experience H&M in the way we want to be presented.”

Mr Garlich was coy over whether there are more stores opening on the horizon but did stress the processes behind opening new outlets like this, something he said takes “years”.

He did, however, say Sutton is where H&M were the “most convinced” and saw “such a strong customer group” to try and tap into.

READ: From earlier: H&M finally confirm opening date of new Sutton High Street store

He added: “It's not short-term decisions because, again, when we speak about our business ideas - about fashion and quality at the best price in a sustainable way, sustainability is reflected in our business in every way part that we do - and in order to make a sustainable decision that means that we want to be in Sutton for a lifetime.”

Some have seen this as a building block for persuading more big names to come to Sutton, amid a difficult economic climate.

Whether that will happen remains to be seen, however, for the meantime H&M appears keen to make the best of their new home.

When asked whether H&M could have a significant impact on Sutton, Mr Garlich said: “I'd like to think so, yes definitely. H&M as a brand, I think, has a super strong message in my opinion.”

“Having this location in the centre-pitch of Sutton High Street, which we are really proud of to have found, I think it will change the high street of Sutton, hopefully.”