Following an extensive four-year restoration project, Primark has announced that its newly refurbished flagship store in Belfast will re-open later this year, with a target opening date of the first week in November.
Since the devastating fire in August 2018, Primark noted that it has been its ambition to restore the iconic Bank Buildings original structure and re-open it as a flagship store in Belfast.
The discount retailer said that has been a 'complex' redevelopment, spanning four years of retention, demolition and re-building the site, but works at this historic building are now finally nearing completion.
The new Primark Bank Buildings flagship store will feature 88,200 sq. ft. of brand-new retail space, (an increase of 76% from the previous store size), with a new fifth floor in-store.
The fifth floor will house a new Home department featuring Primark’s full homeware range of accessories, bedding and small furniture for the first time.
The store will also feature a brand-new Disney café located on the second floor and a new nail and beauty studio for customers, it added.
Primark’s existing store on Castle Street will merge with the restored Bank Buildings site to create the new larger store.
As part of this, the smaller Primark store at Fountain House, Donegall Place will close in the days before the Bank Buildings re-opening, with all employees transferring back to the new store.
Paul Marchant, CEO, Primark, said, “We recognise how much the business community and wider city of Belfast has been affected by the devastating fire at our store back in 2018.
"We have put our heart and soul into retaining, conserving and restoring this much-loved historical building. We are nearly there with this re-development, and we cannot wait to finally re-open the doors and welcome our customers and our colleagues back into our Bank Buildings store.”
Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Tina Black, said that the store reopening is a major investment in Belfast city centre after a challenging time for its local economy.
"The devastating fire at Bank Buildings in 2018 was a turning point for our city; it acted as a springboard in bringing elected members and city partners together to examine and trial new ideas and concepts to support recovery and regeneration and increase what the city centre has to offer. Many of these projects have now been incorporated into our Future City Centre programme.
"This has been a long and complex restoration project, and local traders and shoppers have shown great patience and resilience. We hope the opening of Primark’s extended flagship store will provide a major boost to businesses, particularly in the run-up to the busy Christmas season.”
Primark also announced today that it will open a new store in Rushmere Shopping Centre, Craigavon, later this year.