by Michael Smith (Veshengro)
In Dresden, in the former German Democratic Republic, now annexed by West Germany, the opening of a Primark store, the first in this ancient city, and also one of the first in the former East Germany (GDR), on November 19, 2014, was more or less a total flop. The expected crowds stayed away almost completely.
Whether it has to do with the people of Dresden are being more ethically minded than those in other parts, especially of West Germany, and avoided the store for that reason, or whether they the mindset of the old East still exists to some degree, or whether it is for another reason is not something that can be ascertained, fact is, however, they stayed away and the store was almost devoid of customers, with staff outnumbering customers by ten to one or more even.
Expected were in the region of 20,000 people through the doors upon opening but nothing happened. The only people queuing were two teenage girls. And those two customers, at this opening, were outnumbered by staff and security personnel, the latter who were supposed to keep the crowd in check.
Primark claims to be able to sell its clothing so very – one could say dirt – cheap because of high volume and low profit margin. The truth appears to be another one, as we have already discovered, namely that they goods are produced in Third World countries where workers are exploited and where they work for very little wages in often dangerous conditions.
Whether it was the weather, or the fact that the opening was on a weekday, or that the people in that city really have begun to return more to the ways that they and their parents have known, namely that of a more caring society under GDR socialism, that led to the flop of the opening is anyone's guess.
But, I firmly believe that we should send that company and others a message by staying away as much as possible from that kind of outlets that sell goods that are made on the backs of the poor in Third World countries.
And not buying that much is a good move on other levels too, not least the environment and our wallets.