Wednesday, October 05, 2005

The Church of St Primark

The Church of St Primark

I greeted the arrival of a fully functioning Primark in Leeds with something bordering on joy. I'd only ever been into Primark once, just after New Year in Birmingham, when I'd gotten a skirt and belt for eight pounds. Eight pounds. That's what two drinks in the Slug and Lettuce cost me on Saturday night. So I'd bowed down at the alter of Primark and, like any good convert, was filled with joy when the word spreed and Primark took over the building where the Odeon used to be in Leeds*.

This joy lasted for as long as it took me to peek my head around the doors. I can deal with cramned shopping conditions - I'm a seasoned New Look shopper - but this went past anything I'd experienced in a clothing shop before. The only parallel I could draw was with Asda three days before Christmas, only without the mitigating factors. I drew something of a hasty retreat.

The second time I attempted to go into the shop I got as far as the central display of waistcoats, where it quickly emerged there were no size tens for love, money or bribery. And I'd have been open to bribery demands, I wanted one of those waistcoats. I was also mistaken as a shop assistant and asked where returns should be taken, which worried me slightly because I WAS NOT DRESSED IN PRIMARK. So, again, I left empty handed.

On Sunday afternoon I finally managed to force my way into the shop when it wasn't in need of a 'one in one out' system. And if I was a little saddened because they had no waistcoats even though there were manequins wearing them, I did find a bargainous silver belt. It was only when I ended up spending fifteen minutes in the queue for the till that I started to wonder just how valid a bargain it was. Because there is a price/pain ratio that has to be considered. And standing in a queue for fifteen minutes, with the shop heating turned up to maximum, is painful.

Like the wedding guest at the end of Coleridge's Rime of The Ancient Mariner, I left a sadder and wiser person. Albeit with a new belt.

*Not that I agree with the Odeon closing down, it rather stomped over the memory of so many teenage sundays spent there.


Nik said...

now if only i'd read this before i went to primark today...

Cat said...

the fashionistas call it "Pradamark" you know daarling!

the queues are always that long (whether to buy or to try on), you have to take returns to a different desk, and you can't trust the hanger to have a size sticker that matches the garment - but at those prices, who cares?

Penny said...

I love going round with the huge basket and piling in anything that might possibly take my fancy. One then uses the queueing time to sling out the dodgy and the repetitive onto the tops of racks and pick up some novelty monkey socks.

Val said...

I've never been in a Primark - but it does seem to have some good stuff - unlikely to be my size tho - but I'm saddened to hear its in the old Odeon building :-(

Jen said...

They shuit our Primark down cos they said that it is too down Market for the new look MALL that they are building :(
My children grew up in Primark clothes..5 pairs of pants for £2..Who can argue with that!!