Hundreds of excited fans braved arctic conditions to see the unveiling of the UK’s first One Direction pop-up store at Trinity Leeds.
But there was disappointment from many that the boyband hadn’t bothered to make the journey to open their first British shop, which could rake in hundreds of thousands of pounds during its three week run.
The shop, called 1D World Leeds, has floor space of over 5,000 square feet and is selling posters, onesies and life-size cardboard cut-outs of the pop star quintet.
Saturday’s opening saw around 400 fans start queuing from 6am to get their hands on the merchandise, despite heavy snow throughout the day.
Fans had been warned not to camp outside the new pop-up store in the sub-zero weather, and risked being banned if they did.
The lads - among them Bradford-born Zayn Malik - have become a global phenomenon since their debut single in 2011.
They have sold more than 30 million records and DVDs globally and topped the charts in more than 37 countries.
They are currently on a UK tour, but are not expected to come to the Leeds pop-up shop during its run.
A statement on the band’s Facebook page, which has 14 million ‘likes’, said: “Hey guys, just to let you know - One Direction won’t be coming to the 1D World launch in Leeds on Saturday, so please don’t make the trip if you’re hoping to see the guys. (However - do make the trip if you’re going to stock up on your 1D merch!) 1DHQ x”
Fan Jade Taylor couldn’t hide her disappointment. She said: “Can’t believe u aren’t gunna be there! First shop to open in the uk. And ur in Birmingham! That ain’t too far from Leeds!!!!!” Chloe-Anne Swales said: “Gutted, was looking forward to seeing you!x”
But another fan, Caitlin Olivia Chivers, was more circumspect. She said: “They not going probs because of the snow in Leeds! They have a concert on Saturday too. They might not of made it to the concert because of the snow so maybe that’s why they arnt! Im going on Saturday though! So happy my hometown gets a 1D world:) x”
Similar 1D World ventures in New York, Sydney, Toronto and Stockholm have been a massive success for the band.