Budget fashion store Primark is coming to Florence

The Local Italy
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Budget fashion store Primark is coming to Florence
File photo of a Primark storefront. Photo: Remko de Waal / ANP / AFP

Italy is famed for trend-setting designers from Gucci to Prada and the effortless chic of the locals, but the latest addition to Florence's high street proves there's still a market for cheap and cheerful fashion.


Budget clothes store Primark will be opening in the city on June 2nd, the chain announced on its website.

The shop will be the Irish chain's third in Italy, following stores in fashion capital Milan and Brescia which opened last year. In total, Primark has 290 shops across Europe.

Bargain hunters will find the Florence branch in the Gigli shopping centre, a mall outside the city centre and home to around 140 shops including many international brands.

The Florentine Primark will be open between 9am and 10pm every day of the week, except for Sundays when it will close one hour earlier.

READ ALSO: Europe's biggest shopping mall just opened in northern Italy

Foreign chains have had mixed success in Italy.

American coffee giant Starbucks announced earlier this year that after months of rumours, up to 300 stores would be opening across the country. Its launch is being coordinated by Antonio Percassi, who has previously brought global giants including Zara, the Lego Store and Victoria's Secret to Italy.

Florence's city centre is a Unesco World Heritage site, and city authorities have taken steps to ensure its traditional character isn't threatened by global chains or low quality produce. The council recently relocated an iconic outdoor market arguing that it had lost its "historical character" through years of "degradation" and was no longer in keeping with the city's heritage.

And Florence mayor Dario Nardella blocked an application from McDonald's to open a restaurant in the city's central square earlier this year, following protests from local residents. 

The fast food chain's first Italian restaurant opened up near the Spanish steps in Rome 30 years ago, sparking protests not least from fashion brand Valentino, which has its Rome headquarters nearby and complained about the smells and noise from the restaurant.

READ ALSO: An end to fashion elitism? Not in Milan...



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