As a geek who’s not overly concerned with appearance, clothes shopping has always been a bit of chore for me.

The rise of stores such as Primark has changed that forever. £3 t-shirts that look very similar to £30 or £40 designer t-shirts, £5 dress shirts, and £8 zipup tops etc. Most of the items seem to be as well made as far more expensive items, and current with whatever’s fashionable.

Primark has de-risked clothes shopping for me. If I see something that I like, it’s probably quite stylish, and even if it turns out to be a mistake, or falls to pieces after a few washes (hasn’t happened yet), it’s not a big concern at those prices.

It’s not all perfect though… I do have some worries about how much the workers making the clothes are earning. It’s not something that I’ve looked into, but they can’t be making much putting together £3 t-shirts…

Another issue is how busy the Primark’s stores are. Unless you go just after they open, they’re not the most pleasant place to be, as they’re just too busy.

Despite those issues, I would hate to go back to a time before Primark and its competitors graced the high street.

I’ve even started buying multiples of certain items that look good on me and wash well. A certain £8 zipup top that I liked reappeared in a local store after I thought they’d sold out. I bought three of them (in addition to the one I already had), so when one wears out, I’ll just go in my cupboard and retrieve a new one.

3 thoughts on “Primark

  1. Stephen

    “It’s not all perfect though… I do have some worries about how much the workers making the clothes are earning.”

    Enough to make a better living than if Primark weren’t selling their clothes. This is what’s lifting so many in China out of abject poverty. The wealth isn’t shared well, and people are having to work very, very hard for their money, but at least the money is getting there. The clothes are still more expensive in Primark than their equivalents in China too. I remember buying two decent shirts and a pair of jeans from a smart (but Chinese-branded) shop in Xian for just over £10.

    Anyway who isn’t selling clothes made in China these days? When the more expensive shops do it, how much of the markup goes to China? I doubt if it’s any more than Primark.

    (Though I must admit – I prefer H&M. Not quite as cheap as Primark, but still very good value)

  2. Steven Post author

    I’m sure you’re probably right. Looking a couple of Diesel t-shirts in my wardrobe (probably cost £25-30 each), they were made in Hong Kong and India. For the same money I could have ten Primark t-shirts, and presumably the workers would earn far more money from those ten t-shirts in total.

    I like H&M too, but in the last year or so their prices seem to have risen, and I’m finding less that I like to buy. I still check them out on a regular basis though.

  3. Andrew

    Have you tried Peacocks?

    In the words of Aled from Radio One, to the tune of Amarillo, Tony Christie and Peter Kay…

    “Theres a shop called peacocks… where I get my underpants and cheap socks..”

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