Primark opening creates a sensation in Downtown Brooklyn

Hundreds line up for grand opening Tuesday at City Point

December 20, 2022 Mary Frost
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DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN — There was quite a scene on Fulton Street in Downtown Brooklyn on Tuesday morning as hundreds of shoppers lined up around the block for the grand opening of the new Primark retailer at City Point.

The chain is known for low-cost clothing and accessories, shoes, beauty products and home goods. Primark has pledged to ensure all its clothing is made from recycled or more sustainably sourced materials by 2030. According to the company, 39 percent of all Primark clothes are now made from recycled or more sustainable materials, up from 25 percent in September 2021.

Despite the cold and the line, there was a festive atmosphere in front of the retailer, which takes up the three-level space formerly occupied by Century 21. Management gave away hot chocolate from Puff Delights and sweet treats from Fatty Sundays. Security guards and store personnel with walkie-talkies kept the sidewalks clear.

When asked what was the big deal about Primark, one guard told the Brooklyn Eagle, “The prices. You can get a jacket, and I’m talking about dress jacket, for about $35.”

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“Get down here now,” one woman could be overheard talking on her cellphone.

Hundreds of shoppers flocked into the new Primark retailer which opened on Tuesday in Downtown Brooklyn. Photo: Mary Frost, Brooklyn Eagle

After the official ribbon cutting inside the store, the front doors opened and the crowd streamed inside for more than a half hour, as employees cheered, waved blue Primark flags and handed out shopping baskets. (Many shoppers seemed to know instinctively that the shoe department was on the third floor, and flocked to the escalators.)

Originating in Ireland, this is the second of the high volume, low price fashion sites to open in Brooklyn, making this the company’s 16th U.S. store. (The first Brooklyn retailer opened in Kings Plaza.) Another Primark recently opened on Jamaica Avenue in Queens.

After waiting in line more than an hour, shoppers were happy to grab a basket and scoop up some bargains. Photo: Mary Frost, Brooklyn Eagle

Primark President Kevin Tulip — who is English, despite the company originating in Ireland — told the Eagle that he wasn’t at all surprised at the size and enthusiasm of the crowd this morning.

“We have amazing fashions and amazing prices, that’s what we’re all about” he said. “In Brooklyn a lot of our customers have been shopping in our Kings Plaza store and have gotten to know us from there, so we really have that brand recognition here.”

The chain is growing rapidly, Tulip said. “We have a number of stores still planned for 2023 so we’ll be back in New York, actually for a store in Green Acres on Long Island and then a few other stores. Actually, we’re opening 60 stores in the U.S. by 2026.”

Primark employees greeted shoppers with cheers and flags at the store’s grand opening in Downtown Brooklyn. Photo: Mary Frost, Brooklyn Eagle

Jessica Garbarino, head of U.S. communications for Primark, was blown away by the crowd.

“I feel like it started with Roosevelt Field in November and it’s just been building from there,” she said “I hoped for it, but this is amazing — it’s so cool!

“And right before the holidays it’s impressive that people showed up and waited. They waited! In the cold! That is amazing, and we hope it will continue,” Garbarino said.

The new Primark is located at 445 Albee Square West in City Point.

The new Primark takes up three levels at 445 Albee Square West in City Point. Photo: Mary Frost, Brooklyn Eagle

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