Inside 24-hour Primark with festive bargains & shoppers queueing at midnight

Primark sent shoppers into a frenzy when it reopened after lockdown.

Many have rushed to buy Christmas decorations, presents and cosy clothes for winter.

And some have even been willing to queue around the street for a chance to peruse the aisles.

Predicting this surge in demand, Primark extended its opening times.

Chief executive Paul Marchant, said: “We are delighted to re-open our stores in England on 2 December, with longer shopping hours to give our customers more time to safely do their festive shopping.

“We have everything this season that our customers expect from Primark, including our famous Christmas jumpers, festive pyjamas and much, much more.”

For the first time, 11 outlets have been opened 24 hours a day to let customers get their shopping fix around the clock.

You may think it’s odd to look around a clothes shop in the middle of the night, but many have been making the most of the extra hours.

The Mirror headed out to a store in Westfield in Stratford, London, to see whether consumers were ditching their beds for baskets.

Outside, in the freezing December air, shoppers Doina Nica, 27, and her brother Aureliu, 24, from Moldova, bought new pillows and gifts to send home for Christmas.

Aureliu says: “We saw that Primark was open for 24 hours on the news and Facebook and thought we'd come to Westfield. We came so late because I'm a civil engineer and finished work at 9pm.

“I thought it would have been busy because it's the first day after the lockdown but it's been okay.”

Meanwhile, Amazon delivery driver, Saffa, went to Primark straight after a busy day at work to buy some clothes.

She said: “I came here so late because I just finished work – it's been really busy after Black Friday and Cyber Monday. I was kind of excited to come shopping so late. I finish work late so I'd like them to stay open late more often.”

For some, the shop staying open throughout the night, meant there was also a chance to potentially shop in solitude.

Jaylon Diante, 21, did some shopping for Christmas and bought socks and T-shirts. He said: “I went at night because I thought it would be quieter than going shopping during the day.”

And sisters Asia Tarout, 40, and Amina Rahman, 39, simply went to “have a laugh” and buy some pyjamas.

Prepared for an onslaught of customers, countless shop assistants milled around the aisles. A few propped up at the till and all of them looked in need of a decent night's sleep.

Yet the queue still wound through the shop and even though it was icy outside, one flustered shopper announced: “The sweat is dripping off me.”

But it's easy to see why shoppers are so keen to buy their cut-price purchases.

Even children were allowed to stay up for a midnight shop – as one little girl ran to her mother with a dress, smiling: “That's in my size mummy”.

Past midnight, the only empty section of the store could be found amongst the rows of menswear.

Instead, people browsed festive finds, including Mickey Mouse pyjamas in sizes to fit all the family, a gingerbread house kit and even Christmas outfits for dogs.

The pyjama area of the shop was also particularly busy – as customers flocked to see the cosy fleece and comfy cotton designs.

It was hard not to smile at the familiarity and hope of the cheery decorations, as friends joked over Grinch-themed jumpers.

As to be expected, the rest of Westfield was like a ghost town.

By the time reporters arrived at 11pm, bars and restaurants had closed.

The majority of other shops had shut their doors too – so you really would only be visiting for Primark.

This is something customers are willing to do, which bodes well for the high-street giant’s future.

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