From a customer’s point of view, Primark might be the store they’ve missed the most during lockdown.
The high street giant is beloved by bargain hunters but has refused to sell its wares online, meaning many people have a list of items they’re looking to snap up when it reopens.
On April 12, lots of shoppers are expected to form an orderly queue outside their nearest Primark, and the chain has pledged to extend opening hours in a bid to satisfy demand.
Ahead of next week, one former employee has spilt the secrets on how to nab the best bargains – and a ‘secret’ way to order items you can’t find in the store.
Here’s what to look out for and request next time you visit so you can get the most shopping experience.
Speaking to The Sun, Rebecca Ward, from Darlington, said shoppers looking for a good deal shouldn’t just stick to the sale section.
The 27-year-old, who worked in Primark’s flagship store Leeds Trinity for three years, says shoppers can reserve items for up to two weeks.
It’s the classic tale – you walk in planning to buy one thing and you walk out with six hundred. Whoops!
But if you can wait, you might end up nabbing some reduced items. Rebecca says you can reserve a basket of clothes for up to two weeks – and often items get reduced during that time.
She said: “Staff and customers were allowed to reserve items for up to two weeks. They’d have to leave a name and telephone number and we’d go through it quite often.
“But customers would be aware of the final day we could hold it for and they’d come in the day before and add even more things to their basket.
“It was at the manager’s discretion and you would know the customers that were playing the game. But if they have three bags of stuff that they were buying next week, that’s obviously going to be quite a big sale.”
This can be especially useful if you reserve items around the time seasons change because items are likely to be heavily reduced.
Ask for discounts
You might feel cheeky expecting a discount when everything is so heavily reduced anyway, but don’t be afraid to ask if the item isn’t in perfect condition.
A standard discount across all stores nationally is to knock 10 per cent off any damaged item – but you can’t refund it.
But Rebecca says, managers might give you more if you ask nicely but it’s up to their discretion.
Staff members can only knock off 10pc but a manager might knock off a few quid – so if you find something that’s damaged that you really want, always ask.
Look around the store – not just the sale section
It’s easy to stick to the sale section when hunting for bargains, but Rebecca says bosses discount essential items based on the season.
She explained: “They have jeggings all year round and in the summer months when it’s hot, they would go down to like £5 just to try and boost the sales.
“The same goes for vests, jeans and T-shirts. And if something isn’t selling as well as they thought, they’ll normally reduce it by 50p or £1 to try and clear it.”
Managers are keen to sell in order to minimise returns to the warehouse so keep an eye out for some bargains hidden around the store.
Ask a manager to order items
The crushing disappointment of spotting a gorgeous item, only to discover there’s none in your size is REAL.
But Rebecca has revealed managers can order in items – meaning you no longer have to schlep around another store trying to find it elsewhere.
Say, for example, you spotted the perfect t-shirt but it only came in size 12 and you need a 16.
Rebecca says you can ask the manager to put it on their next order – the cut-off is 2pm every day.
The item will then arrive in store the following evening, and you can pick it up the next day.
There’s no extra cost to have it ordered in and you don’t have to buy the item if you don’t like it when it arrives.
You can also get items ordered in from another store – saving needless journeys elsewhere.
End-of-season sales are better than Boxing Day
Everyone assumes that the best discounts are to be found after Christmas – but Rebecca says the best items are to be found when summer and winter finish.
Most items will be slashed by 50%, although pricier items will only be discounted by 25%.
There’s no need to rush, sales last three or four weeks before items are reduced again.