Planet’s biggest Primark opens

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The world’s biggest Primark opened on Wednesday, in Birmingham. At 160,000 sq ft, five floors, and with cafes and restaurants on every level, this is rather more department store than cut-price fashion outfit. And it is the outcome of demolishing a downtown shopping centre called the Pavilions and building the new shop from the ground up.

Stop inside and as well as clothing there is a Duck & Dry beauty salon-in-shop and a Joe Mills barbershop, both of which originate from London and are the sort of thing that the shopper would normally be expected to dig deep to afford; not here. Then there is the ‘Primark Café with Disney’. This one is on the top floor and is the result of a collaboration between the retailer and the purveyor of Mickey and Minnie with the help of consultancy Brinkworth, which worked on all of the in-store catering. Dalziel + Pow did the honours on the graphics package.

It is the sense however that this is a place in which visitors will want to spend time and enjoy themselves that sets this one apart from its rivals. For the moment at least this is as good as anything that the shopper is likely to find in the UK’s second city (and that includes the local branch of Selfridges).