Bargain Street Style From London Shoppers


London Shopping at Primark stores, stylish Brits know, requires strategy and skill. As many retailers struggle, the destination for trendy $5 sweaters and colorful $3 T-shirts is planning to expand in the U.S. beyond the handful of stores it currently has in the Northeast. The store doesn’t sell online, but operates in nine countries outside its home in the U.K. and Ireland. Its six U.S. stores include one at the original site of Filene’s Basement in Boston. To visit Primark is to navigate throngs of people. They hunt through crammed racks for jeans that look almost like a pair spotted on the runway but at a fraction of the price, with the fear that they may disappear into another shopper’s arms in minutes. Primark’s flagship store on Oxford Street in London “Every time you go in there, you have to brace yourself,” says M.J. Josyula, a 28-year-old Londoner who works at an e-commerce startup. Like Ms. Josyula, many shoppers have honed their shopping strategies. Ms. Josyula makes it count: she buys multiples and stocks up on basics like T-shirts. Going into a large store like Primark is also a lot easier if you already know what colors work for you, and which don’t, says personal shopper Gabrielle Teare. “They tend to have things, especially for women, laid out in banks of color,” she says. “If you walk in knowing, ‘I can’t wear brown, beige,...

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