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BOSTON Primark — bearing prices below fast-fashion competitors H&M, Forever 21 and Old Navy, and in-depth merchandising on key items like $7 skinny jeans and $4.50 sports bras — opened its first U.S. store today in Downtown Crossing here.

The four-level, 77,000-square-foot site, the former Filene’s flagship, opened at 11 a.m. and saw thousands of shoppers stream in over the next couple of hours. At the outset, the first wave was greeted by cheering Primark sales associates and executives, many holding balloons in Primark’s signature aqua blue color, and a lot of high-fives.

Primark is based in Ireland and poses a serious threat to taking market share from America’s value retailers.

Before the opening, guests heard speeches from Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh and Primark group director Breege O’Donoghue about business development and new markets. “As a son of Irish immigrants, I am excited about the link to Ireland,” Walsh said.

Primark has seven other stores scheduled to open in the U.S. through next year, with the next opening in King of Prussia Mall in Pennsylvania on Nov. 25.

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