'Stella Stampede' to hit the High Street again

Its last sale caused near hysteria among shoppers. Now H&M plans to sell more cut-price McCartney threads
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It was the fashion event that provoked handbag-to-handbag combat on the high street. Now it's happening again: Hennes & Mauritz, the cheap and cheerful chainstore that sparked mass hysteria earlier this month with the launch of its Stella McCartney-designed collection, will host another Stella shopping day this week.

Hundreds of women descended on H&M's flagship Oxford Street store when the designer's exclusive 40-piece collection went on sale on 10 November. They flocked to get hold of choice items such as trendy skinny black jeans for just £39.99 and pink tulip dresses for £59.99.

The scene swiftly degenerated into a scrum as eager shoppers blindly grasped armfuls of clothes. But H&M has confirmed that it still has some of the stock designed by Ms McCartney, and it will go on sale this Thursday.

Due to the frenzied demand in the first sale, this time only a handful of stores in selected markets - the UK, France and Sweden - will sell the items, none of which costs more than £100.

It is a strategy designed to boost expectations and desirability. In the UK, just five shops will stock the items, all of them in London.

An H&M spokeswoman said the sale was being restricted to markets and cities where demand was particularly strong last time. She refused to say which items will be on sale.

"We were very optimistic of course but still, we were a bit surprised," she said of the first sale. She declined to be drawn on whether the retailer had underestimated demand, saying: "Of course it was a big success and it's always hard to find the correct balance. But we were pretty satisfied in the way we planned it."

Within hours of the first sale, some items appeared at inflated prices on eBay, although costs were still nowhere near as high as Ms McCartney's own range. Dresses by the designer, the daughter of Paul and Linda McCartney, normally sell for thousands of pounds.

Ms McCartney's H&M range followed the lead of Karl Lagerfeld, who teamed up with the Swedish chain last year.

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