Power cuts plunged the world’s largest Primark into darkness and left shoppers stranded on escalators just hours after the new 160,100sq ft megastore flung open its doors for the first time.
Thousands have descended on the new flagship branch in Birmingham city centre today, eager to get the first glimpse of the enormous shop which features three restaurants, two coffee kiosks, a ‘Primarket’ and the widely-anticipated Disney cafe
But the grand launch suffered a setback as a technical glitch left punters momentarily fumbling around the aisles amid a brief blackout.
Fortunately, the power outage was only temporary and the lights have now come back on to the relief of the scores of people who have flocked to the store.
Sara Joines, who was in the store during the power cut, said: ‘It didn’t even last a minute, just a few seconds, some lights went off and the music stopped.
‘Some bloke shouted “everything free!” – that was funny. And then everything went back on.’
Power cuts have plunged the world’s largest Primark into darkness and left shoppers stranded on escalators
The grand launch suffered a setback as a technical glitch left punters fumbling around the shop amid a brief blackout
Today’s opening of the Birmingham branch is set to smash the record for Primark’s existing largest store by 5,000sq ft, topping Manchester’s 155,000sq ft structure.
And the hype among fans of the bargain retailer electrified yesterday when Primark released sensational drone footage showcasing the five-floor store which will employee almost 1,000 staff.
One Primark fanatic even ranked the launch as one of the best days in her life and likened it to weddings and giving birth to children.
Karen Smith, 60, a stay at home mum, said: ‘I was here since 9 o’clock. I’m very excited. I can’t wait to see all the Disney departments.
‘My first stop will probably be the Disney store and my first buy will e something from the Disney homewear collection.
‘When they tell you the best day of your life is getting married or having your children, it’s not, it’s when you’re there for the opening of the biggest Primark in the world.’
And 23-year-old Sammy Smith, who said he was heading straight for the Harry Potter section, agreed that it was the greatest day of his life.
Many have been camped outside the new flagship branch in Birmingham city centre for hours to guarantee entry to the enormous shop which features three restaurants, two coffee kiosks, a ‘Primarket’ and the widely-anticipated Disney cafe
Some Primark fanatics even ranked the launch as one of the best days in their lives and likened it to weddings and having children
Around 5,000 people are expected to turn up on Birmingham high street for the grand opening at 10am today
Today’s opening of the Birmingham branch is set to smash the record for Primark existing largest store by 5,000sq ft, topping Manchester’s 155,000sq ft structure
But the excitement has worn off on one shopper who woke up in the early hours of this morning to avoid getting stuck in the large crowds expected to descend on Birmingham today.
Carla Sharp, 33, a composite laminator, said: ‘I’ve been waiting since 07.55. ‘I think it’s going to look like a normal Primark just a bit bigger really.
‘I’m not really excited for it- we got up at 3’oclock because we were planning to get here at 4 o’clock this morning but it was so icy, I just couldn’t.
‘My first visit is definitely going to be Disney- the quality of the Disney stuff is probably better than in the actual Disney stores sometimes. I’m definitely excited for the Disney stuff and children’s wear.’
Around 5,000 people are expected to turn up on Birmingham high street for the grand opening at 10am today.
Sarah Miller,50, a nurse said: ‘I’ve been waiting for about half an hour and oh my God I’m excited!
‘I think it’s going to be amazing, I’ve already looked online and I can’t wait.
‘My first stop is going to be Disney and I’ll buy something from there but I don’t know what yet.
‘It’s the largest in the world, it’s amazing, I’ve come from Worcester to be here early this morning.’
Karen Smith said: ‘When they tell you the best day of your life is getting married or having your children, it’s not, it’s when you’re there for the opening of the biggest Primark in the world’
Incredible footage showcases the sheer scale of the enormous shop, which is the world’s largest Primark
The covers are off! The world’s biggest Primark will open its doors to the public today for its grand opening
The incredible footage reveals the five floors of the massive shop, which promises to feature amazing fashion for amazing prices
Laura Jackson, 25, had been queuing outside ahead of the 10am launch and said: ‘I am very excited for it. I’m a massive Disney fan so I want to see the Disney cafe. I don’t know where to start from. We want to go first and see how it is.’
A number of lucky ‘friends and family’ members were given the opportunity to have a look around the new superstore earlier this week, with one saying ‘no expense has been spared’.
‘It’s going to take on the Bullring as the city’s number one shopping destination,’ gushed one excited visitor. ‘It’s an amazing shop compared with what was here before.
Teagan Smith, 31, a civil servant in the queue, said just before 9am: ‘I’ve been waiting for half an hour.
‘From the pictures online, I think it’s going to look like pretty clean cut, big, great, better than most of the stores in the area probably.
‘It’s going to be interesting to see what’s in there and obviously the Disney cafe.
‘I don’t know whether to go straight to the Disney cafe, check that out and then come back.’
The Disney cafe, which features interactive tables for children to play with, is one of three restaurants on the site; the others being the Mezz restaurant and the Primarket cafe.
Also on site is Duck & Dry Xpress, Primark’s largest ever beauty studio for nails, make-up, hair, eyebrows and lashes, as well as Mills barbers for male customers.
The new flagship superstore in Birmingham city centre boasts five floors of fashion as well as a new Disney cafe, a stylish hair salon and barbers and a custom T-shirt printing lab
By 11 o’clock, some of the early punters were already leaving the store and were generally very positive about their trip but warned that the launch had been very crowded.
Pensioner Aileen Harris, 70, said: ‘It will be lovely when you can see what you can get, it was really busy and the music was too loud but the clothes were beautiful.
‘I got what I wanted, I came with my sister, she’s still inside. I got some new bedding, I have a new bed and wanted some new bedding.
‘It’s also nice material, it was £27 for the duvet, the sheets and pillowcases.
‘It’s very easy to navigate, it’s all arrowed, but it was just too busy, I’d probably come back in a week when it’s calm down.
‘It’s really nice, there’s enough stuff to help, I enjoyed it it’s got nice things, especially for the young ones.’
Sarah Lasuba, 45, a cleaner said: ‘It is amazing, it’s really very big inside, it s not difficult to go around. I bought four pairs of leggings for £2 each, it’s a normal price.’
Mrs Hall, 73, a pensioner said: ‘It’s an absolutely brilliant store, there’s loads to choose from, you can spend too much money.
‘At first it wasn’t easy to get around but I don’t think it would take you long. I think you’d need a good couple of hours but I don’t have time for that.
‘Where I’ve been and what I’ve seen I thought it was really brilliant. I liked everything, it was all very well laid out.
‘I bought some shorts, T-shirt’s and a dress. The prices were really good, the biggest item I bought was the dress for £18, but it is embroidery only so that’s a fair price.
‘I bought two pairs of pants of denim for £6 each which I thought was very good value.’
The Disney cafe, which features interactive tables for children to play with, is one of three restaurants on the site – the others being the Mezz restaurant and the Primarket cafe
Much of the excitement focused on the megastore’s Disney cafe which has cartoons of Mickey Mouse plastered across its walls.
Eve Doffey, 40, civil servant said: ‘I just got here, I’ve only Been waiting for ten minutes. I’m very excited, my first stop will probably be the Disney cafe.
‘I think it’s going to be like going to Ikea , you buy loads of stuff you think you don’t need.
‘It’s once in a lifetime thing,you live here it’s your city.
Emma Ailsworth, 26, a retail shop worker, said: ‘I think it’s going to be awesome. I’d definitely get something from Disney first.
‘It’s the worlds biggest primark , you’re not going to see it again.
Tina Hannon, 36, head housekeeper for the premier inn said: ‘I just got here, I think it’s going to be amazing.
‘I’m a little bit excited to see what’s inside, see how they’ve done it. My first stop is going to be Disney and I’d probably buy something from Harry Potter.
One visitor to the store yesterday said it’s going to take on the Bullring as the city’s number one shopping destination
One visitor said the shop, which has three eateries, is ‘truly transformational’ and will be the top destination in Birmingham
The central escalator block at the heart of the building is emblazoned with slogans like ‘Hello Brum’ and ‘find your amazing’ lit up in neon blue.
There are also digital window displays to entice passing shoppers, as well items from its latest clothing range dedicated to Harry Potter, which first launched in September 2017.
Find your way around Birmingham’s new Primark superstore
Floor 2: Kids, lingerie, Primark cafe with Disney, toilets
Floor 1: Womens – clothing, accessories, shoes – Home, Custom Lab T-shirt printing, Primarket – tech, stationery, toys – Primarket Cafe, toilets
Floor 0: Womens – clothing, beauty – Duck & Dry Xpress Beauty Studio, Exit to High Street
Floor -1: The Mezz Restaurant. Coffee Kiosk, toilets
Floor -2: Mens – clothing, accessories, shoes, Mills Barbers, Coffee Kiosk, Exit to Moor Street
The garments worn by mannequins, unveiled yesterday, suggest Primark’s favourite shades this season will include yellows, greens, creams and browns.
There’s even a custom T-shirt printing station, where Disney fans can get their own text below an image of their favourite character on official Disney tees, which start at £5 for children’s sizes.
A visitor on yesterday’s members tour told Birmingham Live: ‘It’s the same with official Barcelona T-shirts, which could be 30 or 40 euros abroad but which I think will be less than £10 here.
‘The shop is truly transformational. It will be the top destination in Birmingham.
‘Children will love going through the Disney archways shaped like Mickey Mouse ears on their way in to the themed cafe.’
The infamous Primark changing room queues should also be a thing of the past, with the main changing area boasting 32 cubicles, and you’ll be able to do a refund or exchange at any till in the store.
There are also facts about the flagship store’s hometown dotted around the walls, with one reading: ‘Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery holds the largest collection of Pre-Raphaelite art in the world.’
The Disney cafe, which has archways shaped like Mickey Mouse ears, is bound to be a hit with adults and children alike
As well as its stylish Duck & Dry beauty salon, there’s also a Mills barbers for male customers
A Primark spokesperson previously told how the store will create more than 500 new jobs in the area, while 430 colleagues will transfer from its existing location in Birmingham
There are digital window displays to entice passing shoppers, as well items from its latest clothing range. The garments worn by its mannequins, unveiled yesterday, suggest Primark’s favourite shades this season will include yellows, greens, creams and browns.
A Primark spokesperson previously told how the store will create more than 500 new jobs in the area, while 430 colleagues will transfer from its existing location in Birmingham.
They added: ‘The store will have the latest trends in womenswear, menswear and kidswear including footwear and accessories, as well as lingerie, beauty and homeware,’ said the spokesman.
‘In addition to amazing fashion at amazing prices, this store will have many new features.
‘The store will also have a personalisation service, recharge seating areas and free WiFi.’
The store will have the latest trends in womenswear, menswear and kidswear including footwear and accessories, as well as lingerie, beauty and homeware