Fashion chain Primark could be set for new Birmingham mega-store

FASHION chain Primark is reported to be in talks to acquire one of Birmingham’s showpiece retail sites as it looks to open a new mega-store in the city.

The company is understood to be interested in taking over the bulk of the Pavilions shopping scheme in High Street for a new store which could extend to 200,000 sq ft. Primark’s current largest store in the UK is its 150,000 sq ft shop in Manchester’s Market Street.

The whole of the Pavilions centre, which is home to retailers including H & M and Waterstones, is 250,000 sq ft. The centre is owned by UBS.

The Pavilions, which also includes access to the city’s Marks & Spencer store, used to be one of the city’s most prestigious shopping centres, however, the opening of the Bullring 10 years ago saw a mass exodus of retailers and the onset of recession robbed the facility of many more. There are currently whole levels of empty units.

The centre was dealt a major blow last year when struggling music, DVD and games retailer HMV shut its anchor unit. The unit, which fronts the centre, remains unoccupied.

Reports in Retail Week have suggested some of the existing retailers may be looking at relocating elsewhere in the city which could free Primark’s hand to take over additional space.

The retailer, which also has a large store at Dudley’s Merry Hill Shopping Centre, has a current home in the former Littlewoods store on New Street. It is unclear if this shop would remain open if –or when – the deal completes.

Primark has so far declined to comment on the matter.

The company’s ambitious growth strategy has also seen it agree terms on a new store in Walsall.