Primark’s Global Domination
During the recession, Primark was one of the retailers in the UK that has made it possible for someone to buy new clothes, without having to worry about how much money was being spent. With something for all ages, and very affordable prices, Primark’s allure helped it to become one of the fastest growing retailer stores in Britain and Europe, despite the recession – or perhaps, in fact, because of it.
And now, the US will be able to find out what all the fuss is about. Primark is now set to open its first store on American soil by the end of next year, in the Burnham Building in Boston, Massachusetts, covering a cool 70,000 square feet (around 2km-squared).
The company behind the chain store, Associated British Foods (ABF), is also in negotiations to open eight more stores in north-eastern US, which are expected to be open around mid-2016, as well as warehouses to support the stores.
Primark was founded in Dublin, Ireland, in 1969, under the name ‘Penneys’, but soon more shops were added to create a chain after the store proved very popular among the shoppers. Penney’s spread into the UK in 1974, changing its name to the ‘Primark’ that we know though the stores are still known as Penney’s in Ireland. Now more than 270 stores grace nine countries across Europe.
For some British companies who have already tried their luck in the US, the market there has proven too difficult to conquer. Marks & Spencer, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and WH Smith have all tried and failed to make it over there, but that doesn’t mean that Primark has anything to worry about. Topshop, Ted Baker and Pret a Manger all originated in the UK and have managed to survive across the pond.
“We think we have as differentiated and attractive a proposition in the US as we have in continental Europe and the British Isles,” said ABF’s chief executive, George Weston. “We think we have something special to offer.”
The move to the US is going to cost the company between £1 million and £2 million, but should the shop prove successful in Boston, they are prepared to invest a lot in the success elsewhere in the US.
“We really don’t take it lightly,” Mr Weston added. “We just think that we do have something to offer.”