For the second time in a few months I awoke to Mrs Head announcing that she was bestowing upon me the honour of taking her shopping. I did try to get out of it by posting a plea on Face Book for someone to give me an excuse not to go. Football season is still a month away, so that was out. I pretended to be too upset about the Greek economic situation but that didn’t work either.
Her reasons for wanting me to go are known only to herself. However, after each such expedition she vows never to take me again. Today was no different.
First we made the obligatory stop at Pound Land. No, my mistake: Pound LandS. Plural. We went to three different Pound Lands. Frequent and dear readers will remember a previous blog about the Pound Land experience (here). Sadly there was no Man Musk testers to sample today but I did have a spritz of a fragrance called Madonna Tattoo.
Today’s blog can be considered a sequel to Pound Land. Today our final shopping stop was to Primark. Even typing the name makes me shudder.
Primark is Pound Land’s better-looking cousin. Primark is Pound Land dressed up for a night out on the town. Both sell cheap merchandise in terms of price and quality. Both serve the same clientele. In fact the pavement between the two shops is grooved with the footprints of folk making their way directly from one establishment to the other.
I have only been inside Primark about half a dozen times in my life. Primark’s resistance to embrace ethical suppliers means that Asian sweat shops continue to provide the bulk of the flimsy clothing they sell. However, moral issues aside, I have come to hypothesise a pattern to the retail chain which was reinforced during today’s visit. Allow me to share my observations, dear readers:
1. PRIMARK EMPLOYEES ARE LEGALLY BLIND
Primark employs over 27,000 people in the UK. All must have a sight impairment of some kind. None of the employees seem to have ‘pick up clothes that have fallen on the floor’ in their job description. My few visits to Primark are always spent trying to dodge a crumpled pile of clothing on the floor under each display.
I wonder if someone IS employed to run through the shop before opening time, knocking random items off the rails and onto the floor. I say this in the assumption that the clothes are picked up at some point after closing time. It is equally likely that the same clothes have lain on the floor for years. I sat waiting for Mrs Head, watching the several of the 27,000 store employees walking past pile after pile of crumpled clothes. Thinking I would make myself useful, I randomly knocked a few items on the floor myself; When in Rome…
2. PRIMARK SELLS RANDOM CLOTHES WITH OBSCURE LINKS TO REAL PLACES OR PEOPLE
Need a Betty Boo on a skateboard t shirt? Buy it at Primark. Marilyn Monroe Loves the 1970s on a scarf? Buy it at Primark. And if those items don’t appeal, dear readers do not fret. A short walk into the obscure American references section might tickle your fancy. There one can purchase a shirt proclaiming “San Diego University Ski Team.” The more discerning shopper might wish to dig through a discarded pile on the floor for a retro-style sweat shirt sporting an embarrassing clash of entities such as “Louisiana Yankees.”
3. PRIMARK EMPLOYEES HAVE NO FINE MOTOR SKILLS
This links with hypothesis number 1. Clothes that are not on hangers/rails, tend to be ‘folded’ into piles on a tabletop. I say folded. Most of the stock has been unfolded before I get there and left in familiar crumpled piles. Again the employees do not have the perception to notice this. Even if they do, they do not stop to refold items. Never. Initially I put this down to fine motor skills but this was negated as I noted several employees on mobile phones. It takes dexterity to text.
4. PRIMARK HAS AN ALIEN CUSTOMER DEMOGRAPHIC
Today I was aimlessly picking up items to examine as I waited for Mrs Head to finish her shopping. (Of course I threw anything I picked up directly onto the floor: I am always happy to lend a hand for a committed cause). At one point I picked up a pair of shoes. The shoes were connected to each other by a piece of plastic cord, indicating they were a matching pair. As I teased the pair off of the shelf I noticed a third shoe was connected by a separate plastic cord. Therefore I make the assumption that someone (perhaps extra-terrestrial) is combing around our capital city saying to themselves, “Shops just don’t cater for us with three feet.”
5. THERE IS ALWAYS A BIN OF RANDOM, UNIDENTIFIABLE GOODS FOR SALE
Near the entrance (by now I had given up on waiting for Mrs Head and had gone for a cigarette), there was a large wire basket full of….uh…I am still not sure. There were definitely women’s sandals inside. But I also noted: discarded McDonald’s wrappers, something that looked like a cotton sausage with a cherry print motif, a rolled up (used) tissue. A piece of crumpled and torn A4 paper had been cello-taped to the outside. The sheet read Jud 1.
6. PRIMARK CASHIERS/CHECK OUT /TILL QUEUES ARE CONFUSING AND LONG
I met Mrs Head as she was lining up to pay. She innately knows what to do at the checkout but I can’t get my head around the system. Two queues each long enough to be for the new ride at the Theme Park face each other and then double back on themselves. Dotted within the chaos are last-chance-buy-impulse-items. I picked up a pair of socks with James Dean on them. Or was it Justin Bieber? Who knows? I threw them on the floor anyhow.
Keep the Faith,