The 12,000 people who have liked "We want a Primark in Antwerp" on Facebook will have cause to celebrate, because well-informed sources have indicated that the Irish chain will come to Antwerp, replacing Forever 21 on the city's main shopping street Meir.
Irish chain picks up the pace
Primark portrays itself as the Anglo-Saxon H&M and currently has one Belgian store, located in Liège's shopping centre, Médiacité, since 2009.
It has now picked up the pace of its Belgian expansion: it will open a new store in Ghent after the summer, Brussels will also get a store in a former Forever 21 store and the East of the country will welcome Primark in Hasselt. By 2016, also southern Charleroi should also have its own Primark.
Advantageous for Meir
Longstanding rumours have talked about a store in Antwerp, with the prime location being the Forever 21 store at the Meir. Allegedly, Forever 21 wants to leave because of the high rental cost and the store has failed to live up to its ambitions.
"We are sure that Primark is planning to solidify its network and that it is on the lookout for an ideal Antwerp location, but there has not been any official confirmation", Antwerp's location manager Rob Soeterboek explained.
"If the rumours turn out to be true, it would be excellent news as Primark has shown to generate a lot of attention, something that will benefit everyone. The question is whether the rumoured location offers enough space to fully deploy their concept. We would also want Forever 21 to stay, but we have also heared talks that they want out."