Primark brings back women-only changing rooms after backlash over unisex fitting areas

Primark has reinstated women-only changing rooms after a backlash over unisex facilities. Credit: PA

Primark is to reintroduce women-only changing rooms after complaints about its unisex fitting areas.

A backlash against the store's policy followed a tearful complaint from one shopper who said two men had walked in on her while she was changing.

The chain launched a review, which has resulted in an about-turn as Primark said it had listened to feedback and wanted all shoppers to feel "safe and welcome".

Dedicated changing rooms will be reintroduced in 187 of the 191 stores and longer, more secure curtains will protect the cubicles.

Combined changing areas will still be available alongside the segregated sections.

The change of heart came after Charlotte Kirby, 25, uploaded a tearful video to TikTok saying that two different men had pulled back the curtain in separate incidents while she was trying on clothes at the Primark store in Cambridge.

  • Charlotte Kirby posted a tearful message on TikTok about how two men walked in on her as she changed at Primark

In the video, Ms Kirby said: "I feel like I need to get the word out. I was just in Primark in Cambridge and I was trying on some clothes and it was a unisex changing room - which, I'm all for and I love that because it makes everyone feel included.

"But twice men opened the curtain and walked in on me. Luckily, both times I was wearing clothes but I could easily not have been."

The fashion chain introduced mixed-sex changing earlier this year, doing away with separate male and female changing rooms and instead allowing all customers to try on clothes in individual cubicles alongside one another.

A spokesman for Primark said: "It’s really important to us that everyone has a positive experience in our stores. If they don’t, we are committed to doing all we can to make things better.

"We’ll be monitoring these changes closely and continuing to listen to our customers and colleagues."

The store said the women-only area was for all women and customers would not be required to provide identification.

Staff will be given more training and if anyone seems to be trying to abuse the policy action will be taken, the spokesman added.