Primark fuels rumours about new Great Yarmouth store with cryptic tweet
PUBLISHED: 15:24 27 February 2020
A cryptic tweet has fuelled speculation that fast-fashion giant Primark could be coming to Great Yarmouth.
People began joining the dots after a Google Maps search for Palmers department store appeared to show a Primark in the same location.
In a statement Primark said it did not comment on speculation or plans regarding new store openings - although more are reported to be coming.
However on Twitter the retail giant seemed to tell a different story.
Maddy Simmons tweeted the chain saying: "Primark, are you really opening a shop in Great Yarmouth? You come up on Google Maps where Palmers department store is where a lot of people just got made redundant."
In response Primark said "Keep your eyes peeled" adding a coy emoji suggesting something yet to be announced.
For many the prospect of a Primark in Great Yarmouth would be a ray of retail sunshine.
Last year town centre manager Jonathan Newman confirmed conversations with the retail giant had taken place.
At the time he suggested one of the main reasons negotiations hadn't progressed further was because many of the vacant buildings in the town were not big enough for the retailer.
He also said finding a suitable premises that didn't need a lot of maintenance could also have been a stumbling block.
A spokesman for Great Yarmouth Borough Council said it had not been officially notified of any plans by Primark but was in contact with Beales' joint administrators and asking for more information about Palmers.
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Nick Spencer, manager of Market Gates shopping mall, said he had also spotted the Google listing and been intrigued.
He said it would be "fantastic" for Yarmouth if the Primark empire expanded to the east coast - although it would be a "completely opposite" move for the chain that had always said it liked big stores in big centres, such was its pulling power.
"What we do not want is another empty store," he said.
"I did spot it and was immediately intrigued. If it is a true story it would be very good news for the town.
"Primark is a fantastic retailer. It is a real people-driver, you could not ask for a better brand.
"I am waiting with anticipation to see if it is going to come true."
He said he understood it would be extremely difficult to manipulate the Google listing to create spoof content, although it could still be a genuine error.
Palmers' former owner Bruce Sturrock said he was "very sceptical".
To test the system this paper attempted to set up its own fake business.
Google has said the listing, for a restaurant, will have to be verified before it can appear on its maps.
Administrators for the Beales chain which collapsed last month said this week the heritage store would close earlier than expected in mid-March.