Huge queues at Primark as Belfast store opens
Primark customers in Northern Ireland have clearly been smarting at the lack of the brand’s flagship since the historic Belfast building it occupied was hit by a major fire several months ago.
And on Saturday, they queued in their thousands as the value fashion and homewares retailer opened a replacement store in the city.
And retailers nearby should be heaving a sign or relief too with reports in recent months suggesting that visitor traffic to the area where the original store had been has fallen as much as 60% since it closed. Some stores near the 118-year-old Bank Buildings location had also been forced to close due to safety issues.
Reports said that the new store, which is very close to the old one, saw shoppers travelling from all over Northern Ireland to be among the first through its doors.
A report in The Guardian quoted people in the queue saying they hadn’t bothered to travel into Belfast to shop since the fire three months ago, underlining just how significant the opening is for the city’s stores.
Belfast’s lord mayor Deirdre Hargey said at the opening that the store “will really help with footfall. This is great not just for Primark and its staff, but also for the surrounding traders, particularly here in Castle Street.”
Staff were handing out goodie bags to those in the queue and estimated that around 1,100 people were waiting, based on the number of bags given out.
Primark currently has three stores in Northern Ireland and will open another in Belfast next spring with a site on Donegall Place, which is the street where the company had opened its first Northern Irish store 43 years ago.
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