Ex-Primark worker reveals store secrets including what a 'code four' means
14th October 2020

TikTok has been a great source to see behind the scenes of our favourite dining and shopping establishments.

Whether it’s how to make a chicken korma at Spoons or items you didn’t know you could order at McDonald’s, we enjoy being privy to a trade secret.

The latest joint to have its secrets shared on social media is Primark, after an ex-employee revealed what different codes mean and what staff are trained to do in certain situations.

Rachel Kellie has been sharing insider information on her TikTok, and people can’t get enough.

The former employee of the discount retailer told viewers about things she ‘probably shouldn’t be telling’, including the different codes used to highlight issues and how they spot theft.

Rachel, who used to work in the shoe department, explained why the area may be smelly: because customers who steal shoes usually leave their old pair behind.

That might explain the cheesy funk in the shoe department at times.

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Rachel said in the videos: ‘It doesn’t matter how cheap the items are, theft is massive.

‘People try and steal anything. Now there’s CCTV and security, and staff is trained in what to do. But it still happens.

‘I worked in the shoe department for a long time and one of the biggest scams there were people bringing in their worn, holey shoes taking them off and replacing them with a new pair, and kicking the old shoes underneath the rack and leaving with the new pair.’

Rachel added: ‘We did catch onto that one, but it was gross when you could smell something, and you’re like, “what’s that?” And you find out it’s someone’s old shoes. 

‘Often I wouldn’t discover them straight away so they’ve been sitting there a good few days just stinking.

‘It’s definitely not nice when you discover them and they’re all damp, it’s even worse when you discover one, and the other one is somewhere, but you can’t find it.’

The ex-employee broke down the bell sounds you might hear at the till, with the continuous sound meaning more staff needed, two rings meaning the server needs help, and three that a customer is being abusive.

Rachel also shared what different codes mean, saying code two is a drinks spillage, three is a general sweep, and four – perhaps the worst – means bodily fluids.

‘I’m sure it’s fact by now that Primark have their own codes,’ she said.

‘So cleaners have their own codes, security have their own codes, every room in the building has their own codes, it’s just to quickly communicate through the store.’

But, she said, there was no code for in-store emergencies such as a lost or missing child, in case people are able to decipher the codes.

There are instead strict protocols to ensure children are returned to the right guardians.

Rachel also addressed rumours that Primark has a ‘burn book’ of customers they’re not allowed to serve due to reasons such as previous theft.

However, she said, these are no longer in place.

We reached out to Primark to confirm or deny these tidbits. They told us they don’t have a comment to share.

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