The latest grand opening to grace Madrid´s iconic Gran Vía is Irish low-cost fashion chain Primark, which opened its flagship store at 11am on Thursday morning.
The gigantic store - the biggest in mainland Europe - stretches across more than 12,000 square metres and five floors and features a range of women’s and men’s fashion as well as homewear.
It is the bargain fashion store’s most beautiful building. Dating back to 1910, it includes original features such as the glass dome that bathes the shop in light. The clothes are displayed on galleries that have balconies looking out onto a central atrium.
The chain is also planning to open more stores in shopping centres throughout Spain as Spaniards embrace the 'fast-fashion' trend popularized by the bargain fashion company.
The building, number 32 Gran Vía, was bought by the richest man in Spain, Amancio Ortega in January.
The move sees Ortega, founder of retail company Inditex - which owns fashion brand Zara - become landlord to several rival fashion brands, including the new Primark and Swedish high-street store H&M.
The shop is Primark’s second biggest in the world, after Manchester. It brings the number of stores in Spain to 40, and its Spanish workforce to 7,300.
According to the style section of Spanish national newspaper El País "Spain is the most important market for Primark and its second biggest after the United Kingdom". During the first eight months of 2014 some 6.6 million Spaniards shopped in Primark - more than in Spanish rival Zara.
The bargain fashion shop has pulled out all the stops for its grand opening. It held a dinner for an exclusive group of 60 Spanish celebrities and fashion writers at the home of interior designer Lorenzo Castillo.