Optim Project Management contributes to the construction of the fast fashion industryAndreea Baciu
Primark, the Irish multinational fast fashion retail, inaugurates on the 15th of December its first store in Romania, located in ParkLake Shopping Center, Bucharest. Optim Project Management provided General Design, Construction Management, Health & Safety and Statutory Site Inspection services for the project.
With a GBA of 5,440 sqm, this was an exciting and challenging project, with regard to design requirements and specifications, standards, and execution tolerances. The architects and MEP designers from Optim Project Management modified the second basement of the shopping mall to create and facilitate Primark with a dedicated delivery area, and also to design the store itself. Being an EPCM (Engineering, Procurement and Construction Management) contract, our construction engineers supervised the store fit-out works on-site and contributed with their know-how to deliver the project successfully and on time.
“The main challenges of this project consisted in the refurbishment of around 6,000 sqm of a fully functional mall, with structural interventions on five of the floors, with demolition of all the existing fit-out and utilities in the area, remake of all the electrical connections, while the mall had to continue to be fully operational to the level that a visitor wouldn’t notice the hustle. Some of the interventions were just on the opposite side of the access to the Passport Service Office, where more than 1,000 persons enter daily.” – Miguel Borges, Project Manager
Primark required pre-handover tests that have rarely been made in Romania at this scale before, for instance, the pressure test of the shop, to confirm it was airtight. There are only two companies and three ventilators in Romania, able to fulfil this task, and for the volume of the Primark Shop, a total of five ventilators was needed. Optim Project Management found a partner in Bulgaria, to provide the other two.
Sonae Sierra and Primark trusted completely in our competencies, to the level that the entire management of the contractors and design was made by Optim Project Management. We brought our own contribution to the success of the project. At the design stage, by integrating in all the particularities of the mall and the specifications of Primark. By adapting to the real situations found on site, and by always running the last mile and making sure the client’s objectives were fulfilled.
“We have come to understand that opening dates are key to all of our Retail clients, and it was of the utmost importance to open Primark store before Christmas. Normally, it needed eight months of works performed by the landlord and seven months for those performed by the tenant, which means a total of fifteen months. In ParkLake, although it was Primark’s first shop in Romania, we managed to finish the store – from the start of works to inauguration – in just twelve months, due to the proper management, planning and competency of our team.” – Iuliana Belgun, Proposals and Business Development Manager
Primark offers a diverse range of products – through its 398 stores in 14 countries (as of 2021) – including baby and children’s clothing, womenswear, menswear, homeware, accessories, footwear, beauty products, confectionery, makeup products and vegan snacks. In 2020, Primark launched its Wellness collection, products made of organic, sustainable or recycled materials.
As stated in The Economist, the brand contributes to the contemporary fast fashion trend: “Primark has an irresistible offer: trendy clothes at astonishingly low prices. The result is a new and even faster kind of fast fashion, which encourages consumers to buy heaps of items, discard them after a few wears and then come back for another batch of new outfits.”