Huge crowds and long queues as Madrid shoppers go Primark crazy

Huge crowds and long queues as Madrid shoppers go Primark crazy
Photo: Primark / Instagram.
Shoppers face restricted access to control crowds a week after the low-cost fashion chain opened its largest shop in mainland Europe.

The Irish low-cost fashion chain Primark kicked off celebrations to launch its new store in Madrid a week ago, but the hubbub apparently has hardly died down as residents have been complaining about the “obstacle course” created by the endless stream of shoppers trying to enter the store.

Local newspaper Madrid Diario reported on Thursday that queues for the store had spilled over onto smaller streets off of the main entrance on Gran Via, a major shopping street in the Spanish capital. The newspaper wrote that delivery trucks and cars have had trouble driving around the streams of pedestrians.

To combat overcrowding inside, store officials have fenced off areas for shoppers to stand in line outside, handing out numbers to make sure the store remains within its capacity limits.

One Irish-Spanish journalist compared getting into Primark to trying to get into a nightclub while underage.

Newspaper El Pais reported that shoppers have often waited up to an hour just to enter the store, days after the grand opening and even during the work week.

Pictures posted on Twitter showed lines stretching for blocks on Thursday, with some describing “infinite queues” and complaining of the controls.



“Excessive systems of control at the new Primark shop. Infinite queues.”

The Madrid store is flanked by two other major retailers – H&M and Mango. Madrid Diario reported that though managers of some neighbouring stores said Primark's presence is beneficial in bringing in more shoppers – especially when they mistakenly enter, thinking they're in Primark – the overcrowding also seems to prevent people at times from getting through to other stores.

A retail analyst wrote on Twitter that the continued popularity since the opening is a positive sign.

The Gran Via store itself is huge: five floors and more than 12,000 square metres of space.

The Madrid shop is Primark’s second biggest in the world, after Manchester. It brings the number of stores in Spain to 40, and its Spanish workforce to 7,300.

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