Taoiseach Enda Kenny has opened a Primark store in Berlin, the 13th outlet to open in Germany since the Irish brand first entered the market in 2009.

Hundreds of shoppers, many of them teenagers, queued outside the store in Berlin's Alexanderplatz ahead of the official opening.

Mr Kenny was given a rousing welcome by Primark staff.  

The company, known in Ireland as Penneys, employs over 5,300 people in Germany.

Across Europe there are 276 Primark stores in total.

Mr Kenny said: "We are seeing a new wave of international expansion from Irish companies abroad and I am heartened to see Primark leading this charge.

"The international success of Primark represents the constant innovations in retail and commercial expansion initiated in Ireland," he said.

A protest was held outside the store.  Primark has faced criticism in Germany and elsewhere over the alleged conditions in which its textile workers produce goods in Bangladesh.

Primark suppliers were tenants of a building that collapsed in Bangladesh last year causing the deaths of over 1,100 people.

The company has insisted, however, that it is improving its ethical and social record.

Primark has become immensely successful in Germany where its blend of fast fashion and low prices have proved enormously popular among teenagers and young people.