Primark opens second shop on Oxford St
THERE WERE no queues outside Primark’s new Oxford Street shop yesterday: the fashion retailer opened up at 8am instead of the usual 9am in an effort to lessen the impact of the opening.
A shop opening earlier this year in Hamburg saw an excess of 5,000 people queuing outside for its opening and, in 2007, when Primark’s first Oxford Street shop opened at the Marble Arch end, riot police on horseback were brought in to control the 3,000 people who forced doors open before 9am.
The new shop is Primark’s 244th store worldwide, based in an 82,400 sq ft building on London’s Oxford Street, one of 12 new openings in 2012 for the cut-price retail giant.
Breege O’Donoghue, a company director at Primark (which trades in Ireland as Penneys), was on hand at the opening to address staff before the doors were opened.
She described the opening as a “significant investment” by the Associated British Foods-owned chain and the realisation of a dream for Primark – that of “opening a second Primark on this British shopping street”.
The brand, which is 43 years old, has more than 43,000 employees and “created 10,238 jobs in this financial year alone”, said Ms O’Donoghue.
“We could give the entire population of the US a piece of underwear and a pair of socks, with enough left over to supply the UK and Ireland. And all 143 million in Russia could have a T-shirt.”
The new shop is the fifth largest store in Britain and the seventh largest in the world. It is also a flagship London store, with four floors of retail space, and will receive between eight and 10 deliveries a day.
The space comprises three buildings at the Tottenham Court Road end of the street.
The interior is indicative of the future of Primark and Penneys stores worldwide – with LED screens, an interactive map and more location-sensitive interior design such as tube stops, complete with 1970s fabric.
The low-cost fashion chain, which opened 19 shops during its last financial year, reported recently that it had achieved 3 per cent like-for-like sales growth, driven by strong British shopping over the summer. Associated British Foods also said Primark’s second-half operating margins would be higher, reflecting lower cotton prices during the period. – (Additional reporting: The Financial Times Limited 2012)