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Primark to take on 100 new staff at revamped Northern Ireland store

Work is continuing to extend Primark store in Belfast
Work is continuing to extend Primark store in Belfast
Work is continuing to extend Primark store in Belfast
Confident: Neil Gibson

By Christine Carrigan

Discount retailer Primark has announced a recruitment drive for more than 100 jobs in the city centre.

Its flagship unit in Northern Ireland at the Bank Buildings on Royal Avenue is currently undergoing renovations to add 30,000 sq ft.

The high-street retail giant confirmed the major recruitment drive, but the company did not want to comment on how much the expansion has cost.

Job roles will vary from floor staff to management including weekend supervisors and retail assistants. Hourly rate of pay will vary depending on the vacancy. However, jobs website shows the average hourly wage for a retail assistant is around £7. The store is expected to open fully by the end of the year.

Neil Gibson, chief economist at EY Ireland, said Primark proved that there was still job creation potential in retail, despite the failures of some retail businesses.

"Retail is undergoing a period of rapid transformation with technology and consumer expectations reshaping high streets but the Primark announcement is a welcome reminder that there is still a place for the physical shop.

"Retail remains the largest urban employer and the fact that it offers jobs across the skills spectrum and is frequently the first job for many young people means it is a vital sector that, unfairly, often gets overlooked in economic conversations.

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"The jobs are a welcome boost and a timely reminder that headline trends do not tell the full story. Many firms are finding opportunity where others see only challenge."

Primark said: "Primark's store in Belfast Bank Buildings is currently undergoing a refurbishment.

"The new extension will add 30,000 sq ft of retail space to the existing store, bringing the total retail space to over 80,000 sq ft. The store will create over 100 additional jobs.

"The store's design and layout will build on Primark's latest contemporary shop fit with new and improved fitting rooms and cash desks, customer recharge seating areas and access to free Wi-Fi for all customers.

"We are recruiting weekend supervisors and retail assistants. Hourly rates differ between roles, but Primark always offers a competitive salary. We also pride ourselves on giving quality training to our employees, enabling them to develop their professional skills and advance in their career."

It is not just the city centre that the retailer is expanding in.

The company has also confirmed that the store located in the Abbey Centre retail park in Newtownabbey will be relocating to bigger premises on the same site. Primark will take over the former BHS space, which will upsize the company's current trading space by 75%.

The store is expected to relocate next year and all current staff will move to the new premises. Primark said it would give customers an "enhanced shopping experience".

Belfast Telegraph