BRIGHT summer dresses, gingham tops and ditzy floral skirts hang on rails waiting for shoppers to buy.
I’m so excited to see Primark’s new spring/summer range that is perfect for post-lockdown socialising, as The Sun is given an exclusive peek inside its Westfield branch.
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The high street fashion store is set to reopen 160 shops in England and Wales on Monday.
I'm surprised to find that the majority of clothing is new.
In February Primark said that it was planning to sell £400million of last year's stock to help plug the gap in sales when it reopened in April.
But I'm told the only items that have been taken from storage are some t-shirts and sunglasses and that the vast bulk of fashion items are the latest designs.
Trends to look out for
As you enter the store you see a burst of colour, with their “gelato-inspired" range.
There are cute summer dresses and t-shirts in bright colours, including a lilac sweater costing £12 and purple trousers for sale for £13.
There is also a soft blazer in the same colour price at £15, while the matching shorts cost £10.
Another theme that Primark is expecting to be popular is its gingham print, including a black check ruched sweetheart crop top, £8, and a black check frill hem shorts, £8.
Further in the womenswear section there are ditzy floral dresses in yellow and burnt orange hues, a nod towards more neutral tones.
I love a floral frill blouse that costs just £9.
The final trend is white and denim – a popular summer classic.
This includes staples such as a £13 pair of jeans and a pretty white frilly, floral dress costing £15.
Primark is also launching its first-ever maternity range in selected stores, which includes pregnancy jeans, underwear and pyjamas.
It expects the maternity denim overalls are going to be a hit with mums-to-be, costing £17.
There is also a new kidswear range for newborns to age 14. It includes children's dresses from just £2.50.
Across womenswear, menswear, kids and home you’ll see a new Disney collaboration called “Mickey Cares”.
It is part of the Primark Cares range which is made with sustainably sourced cotton and recycled materials.
In the next couple of weeks, it is launching a new National Basketball Association (NBA) range in menswear.
The collection has already launched in the US where it has been a big success.
As well as new collections there are also products that shoppers at Primark will know and love, like its sportswear and loungewear.
Plus, lots of new accessories. We spot a padded bag in black and beige, as well as converse dupes.
The rules shoppers must follow
When the high street favourite opened its doors again after the last lockdown lifted in December, some Primark stores were open for 24 hours.
Keen shoppers lined the streets and queued for Primark in the dark from 5am.
This time there is no midnight shopping but stores will be open for longer, on average an extra two hours per day.
Times will vary by store though so customers should check their local opening hours by using Primark's shop locator tool.
It is reopening with the same extensive social distancing rules and safety measures that fans will have already experienced last summer when shops were allowed to reopen then.
Customers will be asked to sanitise their hands when they enter stores and they will have to wear a mask.
As I visited the before the reopening I was the only person in there. I was allowed to take off my mask while I carried out my inspection of the stock and the branch was closed to shoppers.
There is social distancing signage, protective screens on the tills and baskets will be sanitised between uses.
Tannoy announcements will remind them of social distancing rules and encouraging them to cover their nose and mouths.
Fitting rooms will be closed – but Primark says it will keep this policy under review.
Primark’s safety rules
PRIMARK will bring back a wide range of safety measures when stores reopen, these include:
- Strict social distancing protocol
- Limits on the number of customers allowed in store
- Requiring the use of face coverings in queues and in-store
- Hand sanitisation stations at store entrances
- Perspex screens and cubicles at till points
- Increased in-store cleaning
- Fitting rooms will remain closed for now, but Primark said it'll keep it under review
Other shops such as John Lewis are planning to reopen fitting rooms, in line with government guidelines.
Primark is also extending its returns policy for shoppers.
Customers who’ve got a receipt that says they can return items from January 31 onwards have an additional 28 days from when shops open.
It has also paused the expiry dates on gift cards, so shoppers can use ones that expired during lockdown.
There will be extra security on the door to help manage the huge numbers of shoppers expected to turn up.
Last week, Primark boss Paul Marchant said it was "great" to be reopening stores and promised that Primark "has everything our customers have been waiting for".
After seeing what is in stores we know the wait will be worth it.
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