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.
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.
— Pablo Foley Elias (@pablofoleyelias) October 21, 2015
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.
— Jeffrey Becker (@jtbskier) October 22, 2015
— Steve Godman (@godders) October 22, 2015
— PILAR R-IRIZABAL (@PILIRUBINA) October 22, 2015
“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.
— Carlos Hernández (@CarlosOnRetail) October 22, 2015
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.