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  1. ITV Report

World’s biggest Primark has opened in Birmingham

Shoppers got into town early to be among the first to see the new megastore Credit: ITV Central
  • The World’s biggest Primark opened today in Birmingham
  • The 160,000 sq feet building becomes the company’s new flagship store
  • It employs more than 1,000 staff

The world’s biggest Primark has opened in Birmingham. The building replaces much of the old Pavilion’s shopping centre which closed three years ago.

It houses 160,000 square feet of retail space over five floors and is now the brand’s new flagship store. It employs more than 1,000 staff, with 430 workers coming from the company’s former site on New Street.

As well as clothes, it also has a number of cafes and restaurants plus a hairdresser and a beauty salon. A recycling scheme will also allow customers to recycle old clothes.

Birmingham is the number two city in the UK. We've been here since 2002 and we've watched the evolution of retail in the city centre. Whether it's Grand Central, the Bullring and many others and when we were offered the Pavilions shopping centre site we jumped at the opportunity

– Tim Kelly, New Business Director, Primark

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The new store includes collaborations with brands such as Disney and Harry Potter Credit: Primark

The opening of the store comes at a challenging time for the high street. Figures released this week by the accountancy firm PwC show that the West Midlands suffered its largest number of shop closures in five years in 2018. In total, 287 shops opened on the high street last year but a further 475 closed.

188
The net loss of high street shops in the West Midlands in 2018

Last year House of Fraser announced it would be closing its Birmingham branch, one of the city’s most iconic stores. Earlier this week Debenhams was put into administration, threatening the future of its stores in the Midlands. Both companies have spoken about the difficulties of the modern retail environment, particularly online.

We don't have an online store but we do have over 14 million online followers whether that's through social media or elsewhere. We do have a website and we're proud that our customers can go there, see the looks that they want and then come to our stores to buy those items.

– Tim Kelly, New Business Director, Primark
Customers will also be able to receive beauty treatments inside the store Credit: Primark

Primark was first established in Dublin in 1969. It currently has stores in 11 countries around the world including Germany, USA and Italy. The Birmingham store becomes Primark’s 187th to open in the UK.