THE retail scene in Strabane could be set for a major revamp as discussions have begun to bring fashion giant Primark to the town.
Local representatives met with senior bosses from Primark on Wednesday to investigate the possibility of opening a new store in Strabane.
While discussions are still at an early stage Primark has agreed to look into a potential investment in the town.
The location of any new store is not yet known and Primark has indicated the site identification process would be carried out through their property team.
The opening of a Primark store in Strabane would bring as many as 50 jobs to the area, while also attracting shoppers from all over the north west.
SDLP MLA Daniel McCrossan was one of those who met with Primark bosses this week.
He believes the investment would be widely welcomed as it would dramatically increase footfall and employment in the town.
Following the meeting, Mr McCrossan said, “While at a very early stage, I was delighted to meet with Primark to put the case to them for expanding into Strabane town.
“I explained to Primark that Strabane is ready and open for business and that a move here would be successful on their part given Strabane attracts huge volumes of shoppers from right across this island.
“When you look at Asda and even the investment Lidl are making in the town, it is clear that retail is on the rise and that this border town is the place to invest.”
“While no firm commitment was given by Primark, it is positive that they’ve agreed to look into the issue, to give it consideration and come back to us.
“I will continue to engage with all large retail chains to ensure Strabane is considered as a viable option for future investment opportunities,” said Mr McCrossan.
Currently shoppers have to travel to Omagh, Derry or Letterkenny to visit the fashion giant, and Cllr Steven Edwards believes the prospect of Primark opening in the town is “exciting.”
Cllr Edwards said, “Having our own Primark store in Strabane would be hugely welcomed by everyone locally as I know there is a huge appetite for it.
“Even floating the idea to people in the town, their eyes light up with excitement.
“At present, shoppers are having to travel to Derry, Omagh or Letterkenny but having a store here in Strabane would be a big incentive for people to shop locally.
“I hope that in the future that we see investment in retail in Strabane, including Primark. It is important that we support our local businesses but also look at ways to enhance our town centres,” said Cllr Edwards.