Saturday, 25 February 2012

'Just Primark'

Primark’s story began in 1969 in Ireland, back then it was called Penny’s and it was a one unit venture. By the end of 1973 there were 18 stores in Ireland it was then that Penny’s became Primark and moved to Great Britain. The downfall of company’s such as BHS and C&A allowed Primark to inhabit the majority of the units they left empty. Primark now trades as a European company and in total has 226 stores as of 27th October 2011.

So what’s all the fuss about? On the outside Primark’ journey may read as a success story but it has been plagued with controversy. In 2008 the infamous BBC show Panorama aired “Primark on the Rack”, which claimed to show three young boys being used to manufacture clothes sold in Primark. After 3 years, a lengthy investigation by Primark and a comprehensive review by the BBC Trust, the BBC Trust confirmed that this footage was fabricated and the programme should never have been broadcast. Of course apologies were made but those are heavy accusations, and how many people have visited Primark’s website to learn the truth about this accusation?

Looking at Primark’s website now it would be difficult to imagine that 3 years ago they were accused of being such an unethical company, the site is basically an advertisement for the good things they do with talk of building communities, sustaining the environment and differences they make to businesses. All in all its pretty positive and what have they done that’s so bad?

When I ask my friends what they think about Primark the reviews are mixed;

‘Its always so busy’
‘the queues are huge!’
‘the clothes are on the floor’
‘some of the customers are questionable’

To that all I can say is go first thing in the morning, the people on those tills are rapid, don’t buy the clothes on the floor and to the last one stop being such a snob! I think people believe that because its cheap it must be rubbish. Doesn’t Primark source its products from the same places as the rest of the high street? Isn’t Primark just charging what its actually worth without adding such ridiculous margins? Why does cheap have to insinuate that its at somebody else’s expense?

I wanted to write this because I want people to see Primark through my eyes. I’m a huge fan of Primark, not because I like generic fashion but because its gives me the opportunity to experiment with trends. Every month my subscription magazine turns up and after drooling over the luxury for a few hours it’s the high street that I hit to find my fix. I can’t afford a designer wardrobe that’s going to go out of fashion in six months. Sure we all like to save for classics and staple pieces but lets take this seasons Miu Miu glitter heels, they look amazing but they’re an evening shoe and if I was to pay the £370 price tag I would have to go to my Christmas party in my bra and knickers like first school when you forgot your PE kit. Now don’t get me wrong I’m not na├»ve I’m not one of those people who convinces themselves that there’s no difference but I can’t have it all and that’s why Primark is so great for me.

For the masses Primark has been a bit of a saviour, if you love fashion or not it has provided affordable clothing in times when even Topshop’s prices can make you wince a bit. And for those who love fashion its provided an opportunity to experiment with trends at a low cost.
How many times have you stopped a friend because you loved what they were wearing only for them to respond in a coy manner

‘its just Primark’

We’ve all done it and yeah like me I’m sure you went looking for it only to be told its out of stock, isn’t that a good thing? We all presume that billions of the same thing are made like Star Wars droids they’re all hanging in a warehouse with no one to love them, but it doesn’t have to be this way. Take a chance, customise a bit, change the buttons or the belt, don’t wear head to toe or team with more expensive pieces. I’ve given you my tips why don’t you take a trip to Primark and see it in a different way, block out the crowds and tunnel vision your way around and enjoy the treats it has to offer like this seasons ‘Gucci 1973’ inspired pieces.

And the next time someone compliments your Primark outfit don’t whisper coyly because it not ‘just Primark’.

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