The queue started at 6am, and didn’t slow down all day for Canberra’s first ever Mecca Maxima store which opened on Thursday at the Canberra Centre.
Alexis Swaby, who secured the coveted first spot in line, said she had been waiting for the cosmetics store to open in Canberra, “for ages”.
“I’m obsessed, I love makeup,” she said.
“I have a few items I want to go and grab before they sell out, and then I don’t know. But I’ll probably spend about $500 without me even realising.”
Second in line and equally excited were friends Ingrid Smith, Naomi Vumbaca and Tayla Macdonald, who all took the day off work as soon as they knew the opening date for Mecca Maxima.
Mecca Maxima spokesperson Jacob Stanley said they had a team of 40 working non-stop to serve customers all day, with the lines often stretching outside the shopping centre towards Ainslie Place.
“The people coming in are super enthusiastic about the brands we’ve got, and about the space in general. They’ve been so incredibly patient as well. Honestly everybody is just so happy,” Mr Stanley said.
“A lot of people have been coming in with a list, so they’re on a mission, they know exactly what it is they want to get their hands on.”
Mecca Maxima is part of Canberra Centre’s new beauty and wellness precinct, known as the Monaro Mall.
Sitting next to David Jones, the precinct also houses new stores from Jurlique, Perfect Potion, Inglot and Endota Day Spa. Existing stores in the centre including The Body Shop, Lush, Aveda, L’Occitane, Crabtree & Evelyn, and Napoleon Perdis have also moved into the space.
Also opening a store for the first time in Canberra was Spanish cosmetics brand 3ina, pronounced ‘me-na’, which had a steady stream of customers all day.
“People are astonished by the colour and range and our store, and they’re loving the price points, we’re so affordable,” said 3ina spokesperson Allison Smith.
The product range at 3ina starts at $9.50 for a nail polish, and the most expensive item in store is a foundation for $25.95.
“We are manufactured in Europe, and we’re cruelty free, paraben free and most of our products are vegan but we do have beeswax in some of them.”
Crowds on opening day were treated to live music, champagne, chocolate covered strawberries and giveaways. Vogue Australia’s beauty editor Remy Rippon and vlogger Shannon Harris also hosted packed out Q&A sessions.