First Look at Penneys' first American store in Boston
They're calling it #Primania and a serious epidemic of retail curiosity has broken out in Boston among keen shoppers and fashion rivals before Primark opens its first ever US Store at 11am on Thursday.
A digital window display has been counting down to D-Day at the Downtown Crossing location, which is well located in a busy area, a short walk from Boston Common.
The fact that it is an Irish store and that Marty Walsh, the Mayor of Boston who has family from Connemara, is opening it on Thursday is adding to local interest.
"OMG, I can't wait for the Irish store to open," declared hairdresser Diane from her salon directly across the street from where she has been watching the merchandise going into the windows with avid interest.
Read more here: Primark pounces on US this week with Boston store
Ironically, it's the chunky, hiking-style boots for $29 that caught her eye yesterday as the city basked in unseasonably hot temperatures of 92 degrees and crippling humidity.
But that is another good reason for Bostonians to go shopping tomorrow- for cool air conditioning and the prospect of bargain prices which look exceedingly competitive based on what I saw in the city over the last 24 hours.
The selection of warm, sturdy womenswear boots in the windows makes total sense. Boston is a city scarred from memories of heavy snow and the Primark bosses in Dublin have done their homework and know what strikes a chord in this Massachusetts university town.
The visual merchandising is top notch and edited into style stories to facilitate shoppers.
The windows have been filled with stock to tempt and intrigue- ladies jeans at $22, tartan scarves ($7), skirts ($12) and sweaters ($14) certainly stopped students in their tracks yesterday and the menswear, especially the $15 denim jeans and the cream sweaters were attracting favourable interest too.
Read more here: Primark/Penneys drives sales at owner AB Foods
Mums heading to the Gap discount store across the street were doubling back to check out the windows filled with contemporary childrenswear.
As I took photos, a woman stopped me and asked me about the brand. "I worked in Filene's Basement which used to be in this building and I hear that these new people are good employers, good to their staff," she said.
Primark is a new word on the local landscape but across the road in Macy's, it appeared to be the sole topic of conversation among staff as I passed through the ground floor department.
Located on the corner of Summer and Washington Street, the store really is Downtown Boston and sits over a very busy station serving orange and red line commuter trains.
The Primark 'suits' came and went all day yesterday and from the outside, it all looked extremely well prepared in advance of a two hour party (Wednesday night) where we will be entertained with a live performance by Tinashe and a DJ set by Alexandra Richards.
This area truly is a cauldron of fashion retail and Primark's building is literally next door to its main city rivals, with Macy's directly across the road and TK Maxx next door on the other side.
Poor presentation, unattractive lighting and a vista of over crowded rails doesn't do the aforementioned rivals any favours. H&M are nearby and have the launch of their Studio Collection on Thursday too.
Social media is kicking in and the #PRIMARKUSA handle is seeing lots of activity promoting their take on fast fashion -trendy clothes at low prices. The chain which started out in Dublin's Mary street in 1969 have an American tailwind in their sails and plan to cut the ribbon on no fewer than seven other sites in the north-east in the coming months.
Read more here: Primark to open first stores in Italy next year