Ex-Primark worker reveals the best time to grab new stock and why you should ALWAYS take home the hangers

A FORMER Primark employee has revealed the best tips for nabbing a bargain when stock comes in and insider tricks for shopping in the iconic high street store. 

Gemma, 30, from Birmingham started working in her local Primark aged 18 and continued her employment there for seven years. 

Now a pharmacy assistant, Gemma has used her past experience in Primark to share her tips so that people can make the most of their upcoming shopping sprees. 

The 30-year-old revealed that the best time to get new stock would be when Primark first opens in the morning or an hour or two before it closes in the evening. 

She said: "I started working in Primark when I was 18 and I worked there for seven (long) years.

"I would say the best time to shop is when they first open or an hour before they close. It really depends on what stock comes in as every day is different.

"When I worked there, it totally depended on what stock came in that day but usually, shopping first thing was best."

And since shoppers have been left without their Primark fix for a whole month – due to the second coronavirus lockdown – more people have been calling for an online e-commerce site. 

While recent news has teased shoppers might have something even better to look forward to with Primark bosses hinting that some stores could open for 24 hours a day during the Christmas period.

Primark won't go online. I think it's good in a way as it keeps the high street going and people in jobs.

But Gemma doesn’t think Primark will be going fully online anytime soon.

She said: "Primark won't go online. I think it's good in a way as it keeps the high street going and people in jobs. 

"But then I also understand the frustration of having to go into the stores as it can be a nightmare sometimes."

The former employee also revealed workers only received a 10% discount for two weeks at the start of December when she worked there. 

And Gemma says there is a way you can check the item you want is in stock (before heading to your nearest shop) and will stay in store until you can pick it up. 

The 30-year-old said: "Majority of the time, the sizes on the rack are usually the only ones left. 

"The stock goes out straight away and going to the stockroom takes a good 15 minutes to look and check and by the time you go back, the customer would be upset anyway before you tell them the item isn’t there. 

The best time to shop is when they first open or an hour before they close

"Then we can't even say when it will be in but if you phone the store and ask if they have the item you want in stock, they can keep it for you behind the till until the end of the day."

With thousands across the nation keen to get their Christmas shopping complete, Gemma’s top tip would be to go really early in the morning or go on "late nights".

She said shoppers should plan what they are looking for and plan their route if they know where the stock is – as this saves time and avoids the crowds. 

The former employee also suggested shoppers should loom around the tills on other, quieter floors as they may be better to queue at if you have a huge basket of shopping.

Gemma’s biggest tip is to make friends with Primark staff as she revealed they always get to see the items going on sale first!

She said: "I worked in the old Primark in Birmingham, staff had to pay at customer services but it was hit or miss whether there was a massive queue or not.

"And in the changing rooms, I think you can take 8 items in now. 

"Make sure you have them out the basket and staff can clearly see the stock as they will count and they will check to make sure you're not stealing anything. 

"That's part of the job, we did it to every customer."

While Gemma also encourages shoppers to "always" check the size of the garment/shoes instead of the hanger, she said people still make the mistake and need to return items.

She also revealed that taking the hangers home with you actually helps the Primark staff and is ‘so much’ easier and quicker for the customer. 

I have had items thrown at me whilst on a till when I was serving and verbal abuse

Gemma added that when she worked in Primark, she was able to "double bag" customers’ shopping to save any broken bag accidents. 

But she says the stores had to stop doing this as people took advantage and were stealing stock. 

The former employee added: "From my experience, the customers didn't have respect for the staff. I have had items thrown at me whilst on a till when I was serving and verbal abuse. 

"If the stock is there and available, I'd rather find it for the customer than go back empty handed.

"But good things came out of working there too. I got to see new stock before it went out and I could get stock for family and friends if they couldn’t find it."

However Gemma’s biggest tip is to make friends with Primark staff as she revealed they always get to see the items going on sale first!

Elsewhere on the Facebook group Primark Hauls, a string of fellow Primark employees have been sharing their top tips for shopping in the stores in online threads. 

Users asked questions they were desperate to find answers for, while retail assistants tried to help out where they could. 

Some employees revealed staff are able to reserve items for themselves behind the till, the stock rooms can be "manic", the piles of clothes thrown around by shoppers can be "frustrating" and they receive "seasonal" discounts. 

One user wrote: "We can reserve for ourselves."

I got to see new stock before it went out and I could get stock for family and friends if they couldn’t find it."

Another revealed a top tip, writing: "Try calling up other stores in the local area and tell them the item you’re looking for. 

"They should have a system that will tell you if they have any in stock and they’d be able to check if other local stores do too!"

And after another Primark fan questioned why the prices displayed on the website are higher than the actual store prices, an employee stepped in to answer. 

They replied: I can answer this one. The buying system is updated with an expected price so when the web team uploads the image corresponding to the code in the buying system it pulls the estimated price. 

"Most of the time we can pick it up and amend but sometimes it gets missed as it's a manual change. We're so old school it hurts."

Elsewhere, we shared the story of one woman who was so desperate for Primark PJs she drove through floods and a TROPICAL STORM to get some.

Plus a former Build-A-Bear employee revealed why staff are ALWAYS trying to upsell you clothes – even when they don’t match.

On Fabulous we previously shared these shopping secrets from Primark workers.

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