Primark, the low-cost clothes retailer, opened its seventh store in Belgium this Monday. The store is located on the pedestrian walkway of the Chaussée d’Ixelles, and represents the company’s second branch in Brussels, along with its recently renovated shop on Rue Neuve.
Its inauguration was attended by the Minister-President of the French Community Commission (‘COCOF’), Fadila Laanan, of Belgium’s Socialist Party (‘PS’).
The new shop is the largest in the clothes industry in Belgium, with 5,500 m² of commercial space. It also offers 48 check-out desks and 60 dressing rooms.
The company claims that the new store has created “some 400 jobs”.
“Belgium is an important market for Primark, where we have more than 2,000 colleagues. We look forward to continuing to be part of its community and selling our products here,” says Kevin Tulip, Primark’s Benelux brand director.
Primark, founded in 1969 in Ireland, is known for its low-cost clothing and accessories, but it is also the subject of much criticism for the origin of its products that are sold in its many stores across Europe. Many of its clothes and accessories are manufactured in Bangladesh, where workers are paid on average €80 per month.
The firm has defended itself in the past by saying that the low prices it offers are not purely a result of the low price of labour, but are also explained by the company’s relative lack of advertising and the purchasing of its products in bulk. It also claims to have “a high level of commitment” to improve the working conditions and wages of the manufacturers of its clothes.