The new H&M at Crossgates

H&M Crossgates Exterior

The new Crossgates H&M -- smaller but with more stuff.

By Kaitlin Resler

The monstrous Crossgates H&M that lived in the old Caldor space (oh yeah, I totally remember and loved Caldor) has moved. It's now divided up into three connected spaces, both upstairs and down at the mall.

I had been really excited about this renovation, mostly out of hope that the new store would include some of the H&M's higher-end lines. Also, I like shiny new stores.

It wasn't until I saw the new store that I realized that our old H&M was a bit outdated.

The new space seems a bit smaller. This might be because it's not the wide-open-space of the downstairs location rather than actually being smaller. It's definitely much fancier and comes across like the H&M locations in higher traffic malls.

The women's section is all mostly contained in a front room on the top floor that is still generally organized according to the different H&M "lines," and a bit of it is behind the registers which are in the middle. To the right, the children's section, and to the left, some fancy-pants stairs that head down to men's.

H &M stairs to mens section.jpg

There is also an elevator at the back of the store. I tested it. It's really big.

I can't tell if the stuff looks fancier and newer because the surroundings and merchandising is different or if it's actually new. There is more, it's just not necessarily what I was hoping for.

view from the cash wrap and accessories.jpg

I was really hopeful for some new merchandise, specifically the "trend" line, which is generally a bit nicer in construction and material, although it will cost you a bit more as well. You can find it by the pink label in the back, but my visit yielded no such garments.

Granted, this was only my first peek inside the store and I didn't ask any associates for help finding the line, but I don't think we got it. Which is a huge bummer.

Still, this new shop seems like an expanded version of the old one. Even the mannequins at the new H&M seem to be wearing more complete outfits, and the size runs are more full than they used to be. Both the men's and women's sections seem to have a bit more in general. So no, we didn't get some of the higher-end lines I was hoping for -- but I think there is a higher chance now of finding the better items because they'll actually be there and more sizes will be represented.

There were lots more shoes -- a lot of Oxford-inspired (I grabbed a pair myself) footwear. Nice novelty prints and tulle dresses for the holidays. The front section of the store is almost entirely coats and winter-wear, wool berets (LOTS of hats in general), and even leather gloves (around $24, not so bad price-wise).

H&M now with more shoes!.jpg

A pair of wing-tip Justin-ish boots are on my "I Can't Tell if I Need This" list, as well as a cat-print dress. (I am a paragon of self-restraint, as I stared at this for about 10 minutes before deciding I have enough clothing featuring cats and putting it back.)

I think the men's store is fantastic. In general the men's section in H&M has always been decent, but a little hit-or-miss. This is significantly better than the old location.

There is more merchandise, and overall the place feels like a store with good shopping in mind, rather than a store where the men's section is an afterthought. I would actually WANT to shop there if I was a guy (I want to shop there and I'm a gal). It looks like a great place for guy's sweaters and even winter coats. You have to be discerning, but I've given men's coats from H&M as gifts and they've lasted for years.

fancy new mens section.jpg

The layout on the lower level is a bit confusing and it could be better organized, but this space is a far cry from what it was before. Lots of reasonably priced (and some even wool!) cardigans. Very exciting! I also had a really hard time not buying about 6 sweaters from the men's section for myself.

In the end, things are about the same at H&M. It's a bit nicer space to shop in and much more akin to the downstate stores. But it would have been nice to get some of the fancier lines to go with the new digs!

If you've shopped unsuccessfully at the Crossgates H&M in other incarnations, you may want to check it out again. In general I think H&M is constantly changing its stock, so season-to-season it's always worth a pop in just to see if something catches your eye, even if you didn't find anything before. This version is worth it for the expanded accessories section and wider variety of sizes. Just don't expect some of the most exciting H&M merchandise -- the designer collaborations, the H&M couture line, and the trend line are all still missing.

Kaitlin chronicles her exquisite personal style at All This Happiness.


Didn't Caldor used to be where Best Buy is now?

What a strange choice of area rugs they chose for a contemporary store...

I almost bought that same dress in the deer print!

Oh, how I miss Caldor... but yes, the new H&M space reminds me of Century 21. There's always been a problem of occupying that space - from the Warner Bros. store back in the day up until the recent new-age establishment that had just been in there. Hopefully, they'll be there for a while.

Caldor was on both levels. Where Best Buy and the old H&M store was.

Which Caldor was first? The one in Crossgates or the one that's now a Home Depot on Central?

I will always fondly remember the Caldor-retro-rainbow greeting me at the top of the escalators, even after all these years of Best Buy being there!

Also, H&M has a men's department? The old store had such an awkward entrance, where you couldn't see very far inside the store - and all the women's stuff was up front... I never thought there was a reason for me to go inside.

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