It’s the shop we love to hate. But as much as we complain about it, one in seven clothing items sold in Britain is from Primark. And Primark’s not stopping there… It’s opening a new experiential retail megastore right here in Birmingham, which will be the world’s biggest Primark ever!
What makes the new store different?
The new store will have five floors of fashion (yep, five) and is literally taking over the whole of the old Pavilions shopping centre. It will also feature a beauty studio, a barbers and three restaurants.
And for the tired boyfriends who are sick of shopping, there’s recharge seating areas and free Wi-Fi.
We think that the most interesting feature of the store will be its personalisation service. Primark already offers something similar in its Oxford Street East store, where Disney fans go crazy at the opportunity to customise their own t-shirts for just £5-8.
But are all of those things enough? We all know that shopping in Primark can be… challenging. To create the ultimate customer experience, Primark also needs to improve on basic things such as long queues and messy shelves.
Some people think that the new store will help the struggling high street. Retail BID Birmingham predicts that the new Primark, along with other retail developments across the city, will make Birmingham “a great place to shop, work and visit for generations to come”.
Primark told Birmingham Live: “We have a loyal customer base in Birmingham and are very excited to unveil the new store, which will be almost four times the size of our current city centre store.”
What about the ethical issues?
Not everyone’s happy about it, though. Primark has always had a unethical reputation due to its fast fashion strategy and links to sweatshops. When Bangladesh’s Rana Plaza building collapsed in 2013 causing 1,134 deaths, fashion companies like Primark that produced their clothes there were blamed.
Now, many consumers are choosing to buy local, sustainable or secondhand products instead. Anonymous street artist Foka Wolf said what many were thinking with a poster outside the store:
Europe's biggest Jumble Sale
They are building the world's biggest Primark on this site. I put "Europe" because I thought "world's" sounded too ridiculous.#primark #jumble #sale #tat #landfill #singleuseplastic pic.twitter.com/YnjE7vp4O9
— Fokawolf (@fokawolf) November 7, 2018
MPs have also criticised Primark for contributing to the fashion industry’s throwaway culture. They think that fashion brands should pay 1p for every item they sell, to fund a £35m annual governmental recycling scheme.
Are you excited for the world’s biggest Primark? Or do you think that the high street needs to be less fast fashion and more ethical?