Since the opening of Cabot Circus exactly twelve months ago, with its grand, curving glass structures and lengthy list of upmarket shops and eateries, neighbouring Broadmead has been left somewhat in the shadows. ‘Closing down’ signs and ‘everything for a pound’ shops are springing up everywhere, taking the place of a once thriving, if slightly outdated shopping district for many Bristolians.
All that is set to change however, as today low-end fashion emporium Primark finally opened, taking over four storeys that once belonged to House of Fraser. After the building had been left empty for a few months, rumors of a new Primark 'superstore' were rife. The penny-pinching students and fashionistas of Bristol lost out on the city's main store a couple of years ago to make way for Cabot Circus. After months of waiting new signs and window displays were revealed at the beginning of August.
As we approach a new season in fashion it remains to be seen if the major fashion houses will embrace the sombre mood induced by the ‘r’ word. The high street however, knows how the consumer mind works, and in particular, how females tend to react in times of a financial recession. Apparently we tend to perk ourselves up with small purchases such as costume jewellery, accessories and make-up. The so-called ‘lipstick index’ is something of an economic indicator that shows sales of lipstick are often going up, up, up when the economy is going down, down, down.
This new behemoth of a store will now doubt fill a void for many shoppers who want to treat themselves with a £3 t-shirt or £10 jacket. Whether the company is ethically sound or not is another matter but I have no doubt that Pri-mania will have hit the shoppers of Bristol before you can say 'bargain-tastic' and the opening will almost certainly encourage people back to Broadmead. The only shame is that I couldn't make it to the grand opening to take pictures of what was undoubtedly clothing chaos. Luckily the BEP did the job for me. Check out a video here.