Rosemary Mac Cabe

Hemlines, heels and haute couture – your daily dose

Primark’s new Oxford Street store – a taste of things to come?

I’m in London today at a seasonal preview for Puma, so thought it only fitting to give you a bit of a photo essay from the last time I was over – for Primark’s latest UK opening, another Oxford St …

Wed, Oct 10, 2012, 11:30


I’m in London today at a seasonal preview for Puma, so thought it only fitting to give you a bit of a photo essay from the last time I was over – for Primark’s latest UK opening, another Oxford St store on the Tottenham Court Rd end. There are a lot of perks to being a fashion journalist (and anyone who says otherwise is lying!) but I have to say one of the biggest was getting the chance to have a look around this state-of-the-art store before anyone else, on a special media preview the night before it opened.

This was the kind of heavenly sight that greeted media and investors on that Wednesday evening as we got the chance to shop the brand new Primark store before anyone else, in blissful silence with more staff than we knew what to do with and rack upon rack of well folded and superbly organised stock. Don’t believe me? Check out the even spaces between these umbrellas.

There was something oh-so glorious about this vision of organisation, something you don’t often see in the chaotic surrounds of Penneys! And in case you haven’t noticed, Penneys on Mary St is currently undergoing a similar bout of renovations, to bring it up to scratch with the most modern stores – we’re talking blue lighting, LED screens, amazing signage . . .

Check out these neon letters, inset into the original windows of this building on Oxford Street – which was actually three buildings that have now been restored and rebuilt to create this, Primark’s newest UK store.

Did you know, also, that the UK buy for Primark is totally different to the Irish buy? There’s no real explanation for this, but Europe and Ireland get one “buy” – meaning one selection, so the clothes in Spain, Ireland, Austria etc, will all be the same – while the UK gets its own special buy, perhaps because it has so many stores and such a high turnover. But it means that shopping in Primark (UK) doesn’t carry the same fear that shopping in Penneys (Ireland) does: namely, that everyone and their mother will have the same thing. I snapped up one of these cute animal purses for a friend.


I loved this slightly Wham!-esque winter story – these fine knits are really cute and look great layered all together. I have to say, the display in this particular Primark was top notch. The styling was great, really trend-led but also really accessible. Nothing looked too out-there, which may not be an accusation that could be levelled at, say, Topshop!

The store had a heap of cool touches – this underground rail was just one of them, with a seat fitted out to look like London’s famous public transport system, and even the overhead rail that doubled up as a clothes rail. Genius, and a little touch that made the store feel truly London.

It was great to see the store opening up close, although I was saved from the stampeding crowds they’ve had at almost every other store opening; though advertisements said they would open at 9am, instead they opened at 8am, avoiding all mania. Disappointing for me, but possibly life-saving for the London police, who were looking decidedly nervous about the impending influx of crazy shoppers!

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