Primark Antwerp to employ 550 people

Primark’s new Antwerp branch opened on the Meir on 30 April 2018. The popular Irish fashion brand has chosen Antwerp as the location for its Belgian flagship store. “We needed 550 employees to be able to open this new store,” says Anne-Marie De Block, P&C Business Partner for Primark Benelux. “That may seem like a lot, but you have to consider that some 230 of them will be working at the same time.”

The Antwerp branch opened after renovations to the building that previously housed an H&M store. “This new store is our largest in Belgium with a shopping floor of about 5900 m2”, says Anne-Marie De Block. “The staff facilities are very spacious and pleasant as well.”

Fitting place for a flagship

“The store offers 80 fitting rooms and 67 cash registers. Those are needed so shoppers never have to stand in line at the till, even at busy times. The Antwerp branch is big enough that we can offer all our departments, from clothing to make-up and accessories. In Brussels, for instance, we’ve had to be more selective due to a more restricted space.”

“Antwerp is a fitting place for our flagship store. The city attracts customers from a large, highly populated area, not least because it is such a pleasant city in itself. The Meir is a beautiful shopping street and it is particularly popular with our target audience. A perfect fit for Primark. How could we stay away?”

Good neighbours

“Just like elsewhere, we immediately made contact with the merchants association and our neighbours on the Meir. As retailers, you need each other if you want a shopping district to run properly. We will join our neighbours in the monthly Sunday shopping event. We know from experience that the popularity of our stores has a positive effect on the surrounding streets and shops. Customers don’t just come for Primark. They pop into other stores or go for a drink or a bite nearby.”

550 vacancies

“The city and VDAB were invaluable in helping us find the 550 employees we would need. The city has facilitated by bringing us into contact with all kinds of partners that also guide job seekers from disadvantaged groups in their search for work. It has allowed us to build a diverse work force, something we feel very strongly about. We try to offer our staff a lot of flexibility. Our “school bell arrangement” for instance is specifically timed around school hours for people who have to drop their children off and pick them back up in the evening.”

“I must say, it was a pleasure to work with these partners. VDAB organized 22 information sessions in 4 days. Almost 1 500 jobseekers were present, of which more than 1 000 came to talk. The city provided us with the Athena Hall of the Athenaeum for us to meet the many candidates. All vacancies were filled in after just three weeks. Thanks to this smooth operation, we were ready to open at the end of April .”

 

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