Primark (branded as Penneys in Ireland) is an Irish clothing retailer operating in Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Portugal, Spain, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, the United States and Italy. It was founded and headquartered in Dublin, Ireland. The company’s international headquarters is registered in Ireland. Its UK operations are registered in England and Wales. Primark is a subsidiary of international food, ingredients and retail group Associated British Foods.
Primark was first opened by Arthur Ryan in June 1969 in Mary Street, Dublin under the name Penneys. Further expansion and success in Ireland led to the move to the United Kingdom, and, in 1971, it opened a large store in Belfast City Centre before opening four out-of-town stores in England in 1973. In October 2011, Primark opened its first concession model. Primark is now stocked in Selfridges department stores in Trafford Centre, Manchester, The Bull Ring, Birmingham and Oxford Street, London.
In 1973, when it opened its first English store in Derby, the first store outside Ireland, it couldn’t use the name “Penneys” because J. C. Penney had the name registered. The name “Primark” was then invented to use outside Ireland.
Primark has corporate headquarters in Reading, Berkshire, United Kingdom and international headquarters in a redeveloped building in Dublin, Ireland, Arthur Ryan House, opened in 2015.
Primark offer a diverse range of products, including new born and kids clothing, women’s wear, men’s wear, home ware, accessories, footwear, beauty products and confectionery. The company sells clothes at the low cost end of the market below average prices. Along with retailers such as Zara and H&M, Primark contributes to the contemporary fast fashion trend. According to an article about Primark in The Economist, “For many shoppers, Primark has an irresistible offer: amazing trendy clothes at amazingly low prices. The result is a new and even faster kind of fast fashion, which forces consumers to buy heaps of items sometimes even the same ones to use when the first ones worn out, discard them after a few wears and then come back for another batch of new outfits.”
Primark expanded rapidly in the UK in the mid-2000s. In 2005 they bought the Littlewoods chain for £409m, retaining 40 of the 119 stores and selling the rest. They opened in the Meadowhall Centre in mid-2007. In May 2006, the first Primark store outside Ireland and the UK opened in Madrid, Spain. In December 2008, Primark opened its first stores in the Netherlands, followed in 2009 by its first stores in Portugal, Germany and Belgium. Primark opened its first store in Austria on 27 September 2012 in Innsbruck, this was followed by another store in Vienna which opened in October 2012. The world’s largest Primark store is located on Market Street, Manchester, England, occupying 155,000 sq ft (14,400 m2) of retail space across three floors.
Primark expanded to the United States in 2015 when it opened its first store in Downtown Crossing, Boston in the location that was once the flagship store of Filene’s. The other American store is located at the King of Prussia Mall, the nation’s largest mall, near Philadelphia. The third location opened in the Danbury Fair Mall, Danbury, CT in June 2016. A fourth location opened on 16 July 2016 in the Freehold Raceway Mall, Freehold, NJ. They occupy the upper level that Sears abandoned. A fifth location opened in Willow Grove Park Mall, near Philadelphia shortly thereafter.
Primark operates stores in the following countries
United Kingdom: 179 Stores
Spain Spain:42 Stores
Ireland: 36 Stores
Netherlands 16 Stores
France: 9 Stores
Portugal: 9 Stores
States United States: 7 Stores
Austria: 5 Stores
Belgium: 4 Stores
Italy: 2 Stores
Primark is such a popular retail store in Europe, yet it hasn’t expanded into the Asian market or the Australian and New Zealand markets.
Native name: Penney’s
Type: Subsidiary of Associated British Foods
Founded: June 1969 in Dublin, Ireland
Founders: Arthur Ryan
Headquarters: 45-47 Mary Street, Dublin 1, D01 NX45, Ireland
Number of locations: 325 stores
Area served: United Kingdom, Ireland, Europe, and the United States
Key people: Paul Marchant(CEO),
John Lyttle (COO),
Steve Lawton (Trading Director).
Jose Luis Martinez De Larramendi (Head of Spain and Portugal Division)
Julian Kilmartin (Buying and Merchandising Director)
Products: Clothing, Houseware, Cosmetics
Revenue: £5,347m (FY 2015)
Net income: £673m (FY 2015)
Number of employees: over 57,000 Parent Associated British Foods