As far as high street shopping in the UK goes, Primark is the one. Don’t get me wrong, i buy from other stores and some things are worth investing in but the biggest mistake you can make is underestimating Primark. Not everyone is as much of an enthusiast as myself, i know for some people shopping in Primark is a nightmare. I can relate, i never used to love Primark but in the past few years, i’ve become obsessed- so obsessed one of my NY resolutions was to limit my Primark shops to three times a month… which i’ve failed all except one.
So here are my tips and tricks to help you have a stress-free, successful Primark shop!
If you only read one point in this post, let it be this one. You will not see me in Primark after 1pm, ever. By lunchtime, everything is messy, it’s too busy, there are long till queues and the place is like a zoo. Get up and go early, preferably for it opening or just after. The place is quiet, it’s tidy and you can take your time without frantic shoppers elbowing you out of the way. If you’re usually a mid-afternoon shopper, this will make such a difference.
The annoying thing about Primark is that you cannot shop online- you can’t even see the majority of their products online. They do have a section on the website for products and i normally check this once a week (it always gets updated Saturday & Sunday afternoons). Primark Hauls are a great way to see what they currently have in stock. There are hundreds of YouTubers who upload Primark Hauls, normally with the month they bought them as well. Many of them to try-ons and it’s a great way to see what they have, you might also see things that wouldn’t stand out to you in store.
Understand the layout.
All Primark stores are different so you need to get to know your own store but i do have a few layout tips. Their key pieces will be at the front door, basic merchandising to try and get you through the door. This tends to be the products that Primark think will sell quickly so pay attention to them. Also, plan your route in store so you don’t miss sections or wander about aimlessly trying to find thing.
Take your time.
This co-insides with my last point, take your time going round the store. I’d say give yourself at least an hour if it’s a relatively big store. There is lots of products to look at so don’t rush yourself.
The bigger the better.
Size does matter. Bigger stores means more products, if the store is the size of a small Tesco Express- i wouldn’t expect much from it.
Get to know the materials.
Some things in Primark are cheap and cheerful, others are just cheap and nasty. There isn’t a guide for these- a lot of it depends on your body shape. Primark sell things in a cotton material that has absolutely no stretch in it. Everything in this material never fits me properly so i just avoid it.
I can’t give too much advice on this because i don’t really have a problem with sizing in Primark. I’m pretty consistently a size 10 and i don’t have any problems other than the occasional thing that is big/small made. Some of friends find their sizing really awkward so try everything on before they buy. You can try things on, or they will give you a refund if you return things within 28 days with a receipt if you’d rather try things on at home.
Avoid. The bag charge in the UK isn’t to make money, it’s to discourage you from consistently buying and throwing away bags and encourage you to recycle them. Primark sell bags at the till ranging between £1-£2 and they fold into themselves. Invest in a few of these and keep them wherever you keep your purse at home so you don’t forget them. With the UK weather, you’d be mad to buy the 5p paper bags.
Buy when you see.
Primark is the textbook definition of fast fashion. The crucial mistake is seeing something you like and thinking ‘oh i’ll buy it in a few weeks’, unless you accept that you might not get it. Things sell so quickly (particularly in smaller sizes) and a lot of the time they don’t restock because the products will be replaced within a week or so.
So that is my Primark shopping advice. I really hope it’s been helpful, feel free to add any of your own tips in the comments below. If you find any of these useful please let me know, Primark is great for seasonal, affordable fashion once you know how to shop it.
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– Gemma Lynsey
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