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~ MY LOCAL PRIMARK ~ My local Primark store is very large and stocks a large range of women's, men's and children's clothing as well as a small section of home ware items. As you walk into the store you will notice mannequins wearing various different outfits for the current season. This includes colours and items which are currently in fashion or in trend. I always find Primark slightly messy and I always have to spend ages in the store to enable to find anything I actually want to buy. The ladies section is the biggest in my local store; how-ever the men's section is also quite large stocking everything from shirts, jeans and even socks and ties. Although my local Primark store has been there well over a year it's only vary rarely that I ever go in here and I never, ever go in here on a Saturday due to how crowded and busy it gets.
~ THE LAYOUT ~ As far as I'm concerned there isn't much of a layout when it comes to the clothes as they seem to be all over the place. The jeans and things like accessories are all kept together how-ever on one rack you may find shirts and on the rack next to it you may find denim shorts, etc. The clothes seem to be all over the place which is why it takes so long to try and find things in here. I personally think the men's section seems to be more organised that the ladies, whether this is because there is less clothing or not I'm not sure. The pay points are located towards the back of the store and there is just one long line of tills. Because my local store is very large there are approximately 20 tills in this store. There is one changing one in the store which always seems to be very busy, and there always seems to be very long queues. The customer exchanges/refunds are done on a separate till where there are another 2-3 tills together. This area gets busy but only really during the weekend.
~ THE CLOTHING ~ I have purchased a few items from Primark and I haven't been impressed with the quality here, how-ever as the items are so cheap I don't really expect too much from the actual item itself. You can find anything in here including casual jeans, summer tops, work shirts, flat shoes, slippers and even lingerie. They have a section in my store which is slightly better quality; how-ever these items are a little more expensive. The clothing looks as though some of it is made quite well, how-ever I have found on many occasions that it's clearly not made as well as it looks. I would only ever buy casual/day clothes from here and would never buy anything from here for socialising/going out in the evening as I don't think they have much suitable for this kind of event. They stock a large range of different sizes but I find that I vary in sizes in the store. When I buy normal tops/blouses I normally have to go for a size 6 as I find a size 8 too big. In joggers I went for a size 10 and this fit me perfectly (I'm normally a size 10 in bottoms)! When looking for clothing in my local Primark store I never go by the size on the hanger as I find this is always wrong. On a few occasions I have picked things up and found them to be the wrong size. I always find it quite hard to find smaller sizes such as a 6 or 8. The racks are normally quite packed so it's hard to get the clothing on and off the rails to look at them.
~ ACCESSORIES ~ They do a large range of accessories such as jewellery, bags and shoes. I have purchased a few items of jewellery from here and a few belts which have seemed good value for money. I haven't yet purchased any boots or shoes from here but I may consider it in the future if I happen to go in here and see anything I like.
~ HOME-WARE ~ My local store sells a small range of home-ware which includes towels, shower curtains, bed linen and some other accessories. These are reasonably priced but I can't comment on the quality of the items as I have never purchased anything from the home-ware section in here. I have browsed this section a few times and would consider buying something, just to see how good the quality is and if it's good value or not.
~ THE FITTING ROOMS~ I can't comment on the fitting rooms in my local store because I have never been in there. There are always queues to use the fitting rooms so I always purchase the item and if it doesn't fit I'll either take it back for a refund or exchange it for something else.
~ PRICING ~ In terms of pricing of the clothing and accessories, yes Primark is very cheap which is why it gets so busy in here. I have purchased under-wear in here which cost me just £1.50 for a pair of lacy French knickers which I think it fairly good value. I have also purchased joggers in here for about £8.00 which are really comfortable to wear around the house when I feel like being lazy. You can really buy a lot in here in terms of value for money. If you are someone who loves to shop but doesn't like spending lots of money on designer or other high-street shops then Primark is probably your best bet to go and you will get more for your money.
~ CLOTHING QUALITY ~ I have purchased a few items from here, each I will go into detail below:
Jumper - I purchased 2 jumpers from here, each were in different colours. The jumpers were very comfortable to wear and washed well once or twice before they started to go bobbly. How-ever I'm not putting this down to the quality as over-time jumpers tend to go bobbly anyway; these ones just went bobbly rather quickly. In terms of quality the jumpers were nice and think and were made well with no obvious flaws.
Lingerie - I have purchased lingerie from here which included lacey French knickers. I wore these once and they were really comfortable. The first time I washed them the elastic was coming through and showing and they looked really tatty. I ended up throwing these away after wearing them just once. How-ever they were only about £1.50!
Ladies Socks - My sister actually purchased me some socks as a stocking filler last year. They were a pack of 3 socks and were grey with some print on them. As soon as I put these one I could see how thin they were, especially around the toes. I wore the socks to work with my trainers and when I came home and took my trainers off; there was a large hole in the toe. If I have had long toe-nails then I could have understood the hole in the sock, how-ever my nails were short and weren't sharp so I put it down to how thin the socks were. Sure enough the same thing happened to the other pairs of socks as well, so I got one wear out of the socks each.
Tops - I purchased 2 tops from here recently which are the same style but in different colours. The material is rather thin; how-ever the tops were £10.00 each so I was hoping that the quality may be slightly better. I have worn the tops a few times and washed them and they still look fine and nothing has happened to them as of yet. This is probably my best/luckiest buy from here so far!
Kids clothing - My sister often buys kid's clothing from here and never complains about the quality. Because kids grow so quickly and the price of the items in here is so cheap she doesn't really mind if they last just once or twice. The kids clothing is really good value and I often buy my nephew's clothing from here.
~ STAFF ~ There are some members of staff in my local store that are very friendly and helpful. I often find that these are the ones on the customer services desk who are processing refunds/exchanges. When being served by staff on the till they never seem to smile or make any conversation with the customers. I was looking for a specific size in an item of clothing and asked a member of staff about it. They told me they couldn't help me because they don't work on that department. The staff member didn't tell me who to ask or where to go to try and find out whether they had my size in stock or not. On a few occasions I have been in here with my sister and my nephews and it's not easy to push the pram around as there seems to be staff with large trolleys in the aisles and on a few occasions there's been about 5-6 members of staff standing in front of rails chatting to each other. I don't they are very customer friendly in here and could probably improve on this.
~ REFUNDS/EXCHANGES ~ I have never had any problems when taking items back for a refund or exchange. As long as you take the items back in the correct time of their returns policy and items are in the same condition they never have a problem with this. There have been a few occasions where I have had to take things back because I have changed my mind when I have tried it on at home. They are always fine with this and always process the refund/exchange quickly.
~ OVERALL OPINION ~ I'm not one of these people who love Primark and have to go in there every week to check new stock. I only ever go in here with my sister or once a month. I prefer shopping at other store where I can pay a bit more for the items to last a bit longer. I also find it really frustrating that I have to double check the sizes of the clothes I'm buying as the sizes on the hangers never seem to be correct. I also notice that everyone in my local town seems to shop here. On one particular occasion when I purchased a jumper from here and wore it to town I saw at least 6-8 other people wearing the same jumper. Although it shouldn't, this did put me off and I only ever wore it again at home. I will still look in here occasionally for bargains every now and again but I definitely won't be buying lingerie or socks from here again! Primark is great for people who are on a budget and don't have much money to spend on themselves as they could buy a lot of things in here. I give Primark a rating of 3 out of 5 stars.