For those of us who looked on in fashion envy when H&M and UNIQLO launched in Melbourne earlier this year, the wait is over. Their first Sydney stores open on Thursday October 16 at the Macquarie Centre, reopening after a $440 million redevelopment.

The first 1500 shoppers at Swedish fast fashion retailer H&M will receive a free gift bag and a taste of the affordable, trend-led designs that are a staple around the world. The store opens ahead of a three-level flagship boutique planned for Pitt Street’s Glasshouse Centre in mid 2015.

And following UNIQLO’s pop-up store at the Glasshouse Centre, the cult Japanese retailer launches its high-quality, low-cost basics permanently into Sydney. It will celebrate its provenance on Thursday with Harajuku DJs and Japanese drummers.

Fans of Spanish label Zara will also be happy; its second Sydney outing is opening too, selling its stylish homewares line alongside its clothing range.

H&M, UNIQLO and Zara open at 9am on Thursday October 16.

Free fashion runway shows, styling sessions and shopping deals will run at the Macquarie Centre until Sunday October 19.