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Primark reintroduces women-only fitting rooms following backlash

By Rachel Douglass

7 Oct 2022

Retail

Photo Credits: Primark

Primark has announced it will be bringing back dedicated fitting rooms for women in its UK stores after a number of female customers reported unsettling experiences in its combined fitting room layout.

The decision is a partial u-turn for the fast fashion retailer which moved to axe its separate changing areas for men and women in 2019.

Its latest incident was highlighted by a 45-year-old customer who told Stoke on Trent Live that a man had walked in on her while she was undressed.

While she believed the encounter was accidental, the unnamed woman told the publication that she feared for the safety of other women if changes were not made.

As a response, Primark said in a release: “We’ve listened to feedback from our customers and colleagues and you’ll start to see changes in our UK stores in the coming weeks.”

The retailer will be offering a dedicated fitting room area for women alongside its combined area which everyone can use.

A total of 187 of its 191 stores in the UK will have the dedicated area, with it noting that it is exploring options for the other four.

It also said it will be making the cubicles more secure with longer curtains and a mechanism to hold it in place, as well as a refresh in colleague training on how to manage the fitting rooms.

Marks & Spencer was also at the centre of a similar online debate after it additionally decided to adopt a gender neutral fitting room policy.

Twitter users took to the social media platform to express their concern over the safety of mixed gender fitting rooms, while others praised the department store for opting for a more inclusive layout.

Primark
Retail