Primark sets sights on conquering America
Primark believes it can succeed in America where other British retailers have not. The discount fashion chain’s parent, Associated British Foods (ABF), announced it would open its first store in the U.S. in Boston toward the end of 2015.
The company, which is headquartered in the Republic of Ireland, bills itself as offering up-to-the-minute fashion at value-for-money prices. It currently operates 271 stores in nine Western European countries. Its first U.S. store will be located in the space that was previously home to Filene’s Department Store.
Primark also announced it would open additional stores in the Northeast by mid-2016 and all its locations will be supplied by a warehouse in the region.
"We’ll open some stores, we’ll start to learn, we’ll see what sort of reception we get and we’ll take it from there," George Weston, ABF’s CEO, told Reuters.
Sales for the company have more than doubled over the past five years and revenue over the past year increased 22 percent. Primark sells women’s, men and kid’s clothing, accessories and footwear as well as home goods.
Maureen Hinton, a retail analyst at Conlumino, believes Primark will find success in America.
"It is going in as a young fashion brand with a very defined price edge on competitors that sets it apart," Ms. Hinton told The Guardian. "But it has all the trappings of the big stores and the feel of a more expensive fashion brand. I am sure that the likes of Forever 21 are a bit worried."
- Primark to open stores in the north east of the USA – Associated British Foods plc
- 2014 interim results announcement – Associated British Foods plc
- Primark to Open Stores in America – WWD (sub. required)
- Primark to enter US market with Boston store – The Guardian
- Primark to open stores in the US, as owner’s H1 profits rise – RTE
- Primark targets U.S. with first store openings – Reuters
- Primark to open its first US stores – BBC News
What will Primark find different when it comes to doing business in the U.S. versus the U.K., Ireland and the other markets where it operates? What will it take for Primark to succeed in America?