Whilst on a recent business trip to Madrid I decided to take a stroll down the Gran Via (the main shopping street for the city). One important destination for me amongst all the retailers’ flagship stores was Primark. I had read a lot about the store in the UK press and I wanted to see for myself if the hype lived up to the reality.

Well the answer to that question is a very certain, yes! The store is located inside of an old department store building. Whilst it shares some of the front with some other retailers most of the building is occupied by Primark and what a statement it makes.

The store design is fashionable, current and enticing and mixed with the Primark price point it makes the visit for the customer worthwhile. Not only was the store extremely busy, but you could see sales assistants ready to help, the product was well displayed (and not messed up and on the floor as in some of the UK stores) and there was a steady flow of people wanting to buy and pay for items.

In an age when we are all told that the online experience will rule, Primark is certainly bucking that trend with confidence. Yes, Spain’s ecommerce growth is behind that of the UK, but this gives you some confidence that if you get the build, fit, product and experience right – then the mantra of 'if you build it they will come' certainly comes back into play!

The one thing that was clear was that of the many bags I could see shoppers displaying that day, the vast majority were from Primark. Not bad for a retailer with only 10 stores in Spain and no transactional website.