HUNDREDS of shoppers braved freezing conditions to welcome the arrival of the first Primark store in Edinburgh.
Queues began forming at 6am as people from across Scotland jostled to be among the first inside the eagerly awaited store.
The Right Honourable, George Grubb, Lord Provost of the City of Edinburgh, carried out the opening ceremony and greeted the first arrivals as they made their way into the Princes Street store.
It took ten minutes for the huge queue to funnel inside – with many shoppers immediately heading for tills to snap up items.
The first person in line was Laura Hamilton, 25, from Newtongrange, Midlothian, who said it was snowing heavy when she turned up at 6am.
She said: “We’ve been waiting for Primark for so long and the store will bring so much to Edinburgh.
“I can’t wait to snap up a few bargains.”
Denise Stronach, 46, who travelled from East Kilbride, said she was looking forward to seeing what different items would be on offer in the flagship store.
She said: “I travel round all the Primark stores, so I had to come to this one today. I love the prices – with the recession on they make it easier to buy items that are cheaper than anywhere else.”
Paul Marchant, Chief Executive of Primark, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to be opening in Edinburgh today. It’s been much anticipated opening for ourselves – and for our customers.
“We are also delighted to see the customers turn out in full force. It amazing to see a crowd of the size it was this morning in what were cold, snowy conditions.
“We have 19 stores in Scotland now. We believe the offer we have, which is about amazing fashion and amazing prices, is something that is really important to customers, particularly in these difficult times.
“When you look at the customers in here today it is all ages, from young kids through to grandmothers. We have really broad product brand that appeals to everybody. It’s that unique combination that makes us distinctive as a retailer.
“We are delighted to be here, we are delighted the customers want us to be here and hopefully this is going to be a great marriage between Edinburgh and Primark.”
Renowned for providing customers with quality commercial fashion at value for money prices, the new Primark store will be a welcome addition to the Princes Street shopping thoroughfare, offering 75,000 sq ft of retail space across an impressive five storeys.
Lord Provost George Grubb said: “I know the advent of Edinburgh’s first Primark has been eagerly anticipated for some time so it’s great to able to declare this flagship store officially open.
“It will bolster the strong retail offering of Edinburgh’s city centre and, provide a very welcome jobs boost for the city.