CHICAGO — A fashion favorite across the pond is making its debut in the Loop on Thursday.
Primark opens at 10 a.m. where the former Old Navy and Gap locations were at on State Street in the Loop.
The Irish retailer has already opened several stores on the East Coast, but its State Street location will mark a dozen in the U.S.
The Chicago store has been a goal for quite some time, according to Primark US President Andy Stewart.
“For us, downtown Chicago was always on the list of places we wanted to go to,” said Stewart. “There’s more than 50 million tourists that come here every year.”
Trading under the name “Penneys” in Ireland, the company has grown from humble beginnings in Dublin back in 1969 to become a fan favorite with fashion forward, but money-conscious shoppers.
The store is known for having a wide variety of items, but it’s taking up residence in Chicago at a particularly tough time.
Michael Edwards, of the Chicago Loop Alliance, said the pandemic shut down many doors along State Street, but things are looking up overall. Retail occupancy is expected to grow about five-fold before the year is out.
“This time next year we will be on the cusp of a retail revitalization,” Edwards said.
Primark opens up at the corner of State and Washington at 10 a.m. on Thursday.