Primark opened on Oxford Street yesterday in a spectacular graduation from scummy high street obscurity to the mainstream tourist trap .
Opening time was always going to be popular but in scenes reminiscent of the Ikea Edmonton crush chaos of ’05, Primark security were forced to call for police reinforcements when pressure from hundreds of overexcited bargain hunters queuing at the store broke one of the doors. Two hours later, security adopted the West End door policy of one in, one out.
Located just doors down from Selfridges, which is exploring surrealism through its “This is not a shop” season and desperately pretending it isn’t just a massively expensive temple to elite consumerism, egalitarian Primark has brazenly set up by Marble Arch entirely confident that it is a shop, all 70,000sq ft of it. It's raison d'être; to flog sack loads of cheap as chips clothes for women, men and children, plus trolleys full of discount homeware and they’re going to do it 12 hours a day, every day of the week, restrained only by Sunday trading hours at the weekend. Ker-ching!
Londonist didn’t dare brave the onslaught yesterday but suspects that the W1 postcode won’t affect the authentic Primark shopping experience of old; elbows out, head down, hysterical rummaging through stock arranged like it’s a jumble sale and the attendant hazard of skidding on stray leggings (6 for £3) escaped all over the shopfloor. Do let us know.
Image of the new 70,000 sq ft store on Oxford Street courtesy of Primark and PRShots