Hundreds queue for opening of new Primark store
PUBLISHED: 12:08 11 December 2019 | UPDATED: 17:57 11 December 2019
Hundreds queued in the cold to get into the new bigger and better Primark store in Haymarket which opened its doors after two years of building work.
And the retail giant, which does not sell online, marked the opening with an empowering speech from its UK sales boss on how it is making great strides to be more environmentally responsible as well as protecting its workers abroad.
Philippa Nibbs, sales director for the UK, south and east, marked the opening, the 189th UK shop and 376th globally, by talking about how Primark had now extended its range of clothing made from sustainable cotton. It was also involved in training cotton growers in India - and monitoring their working conditions.
"We now have 110 experts sourcing from factories abroad conducting more than 3,000 factory audits a year," she told the staff gathered to welcome in customers. "Primark wants working conditions to be safe and we want to act responsibly." She also spoke of a three year partnership with Unicef, with Primark investing $6m in the children's charity.
She declared the store open together with manager Lee Chittock, both cutting a ribbon to the cheers of staff.
Claire Partridge, from Norwich, was one of the first customers through the door after queuing for about 40 minutes. "I can't wait, I'm going to look at the children's wear. I wish the store was online but it brings people into the city."
The Norwich store is the fourth new opening for Primark this year and it was a slick operation as the staff formed a gangway for customers to come in safely, giving them a cheer and applause. The mood was upbeat with music playing and people queuing were treated to free cakes from Muffin Break in Castle Quarter.
The new Primark is twice as big as the old one, on three floors and with a beauty salon offering nail, lashes and brow treatments. The firm is promoting its themed goods with Harry Potter, Frozen II, Micky and Minnie Mouse and Minecraft as well as many items made from recycled goods. Womenswear and the beauty salon are on the ground floor with lingerie, sleepwear and children's wear on the first floor and menswear and the home section on the top floor.
The opening comes after the store moved into a temporary store in St Stephen's which is now closed.
This week will see the store open from 8am-9pm on Thursday, 8am-8pm on Friday, 8am-7pm on Saturday and 10am-4.30pm on Sunday.