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Designer Bag Launch Causes Shopping Chaos in Hong Kong

A Hong Kong shopping centre was Friday forced to call in police when huge crowds of people, hundreds of whom had queued overnight, demanded to be let in for the launch of a designer bag .

One police officer estimated that by Friday morning as many as two thousand people were waiting outside Hong Kong's upmarket Landmark centre to buy the creation of British designer Anya Hindmarch.

The shopper, which carries the slogan "I am not a plastic bag," became an overnight fashion sensation when it launched in London and New York earlier this year, selling on e-Bay for many time its retail price.

Tempers began to fray on Friday morning when the shops refused to open their doors, apparently fearing chaos if they let the crowds in.

Hundreds of people had braved Hong Kong's searing summer heat to queue overnight in the hope of snaring the fashion must-have when it went on sale here on Friday morning.

Some arrived as early as 3:00 pm on Thursday to begin queueing for the trendy accessory, which was originally conceived as an eco-friendly replacement for the plastic shopping bag.

By late morning Hong Kong police were asking people to disperse, but many refused to leave, shouting, "open the store."

Department store Harvey Nicholls distributed flyers telling shoppers their supplies of the bag had already sold out to people who had pre-ordered it.

"I'll keep on queuing until I get one" said Mr Leung, who said he did not trust the store's assertion that the bag had sold out.

Anya Hindmarch's Hong Kong store also failed to open on Friday morning, causing fury among the crowds of shoppers gathered outside.

One woman said she had been sent by her employer to buy the bag, on sale here for 120 Hong Kong (15 US) dollars.

"They said there was a long queue in England so I guess she was curious about it," she said.

"This is cra zy" said one passer-by. "This is the greatest waste of money, security guards, police, I have ever witnessed. But it's Hong Kong."


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