Abercrombie & Fitch fashion brand Hollister finally made it off the UK starting blocks this week with stores in Westfield London, which opened yesterday, and at Brent Cross (pictured), which welcomed its first shoppers last Saturday.

Approaching the single-floor store on Brent Cross’s lower level, little was visible because a screen with a table and a low-height chandelier in front of it keeps the interior mysterious. The domestic-style shop windows at the entrance are louvred to prevent anyone from seeing inside.

On opening day, this acted as a magnet for Brent Cross shoppers who headed inside in their droves. At the front of the shop, a greeter enquired “Wassup?”. What, in fact, was up was a very crowded store with low levels of lighting and an army of young people wearing HCO (Hollister Company) blue sweatshirts and homey-style low-slung jeans, all busy tidying merchandise.

The store is divided into several rooms, with the largest devoted to an accessories wall, for bottled fragrances, tabled merchandise and a cash-and-wrap area with a wooden surf shack-style awning. The cash desk was backed by three brightly coloured surfboards and was marked by queues.

Throughout the store, there were dark leather club armchairs and sober wood panelling. Despite almost no pre-marketing, the store proved an immediate success. Substantial sales are needed to justify the staffing levels at this shop, but the management must be happy.