|Primark Stores Limited|
|Address:||Primark House, 41 West Street, Reading, Berkshire]], RG1 1TT, United Kingdom|
|Parents:||Associated British Foods|
Primark Stores Limited, a subsidiary of Associated British Foods, is a UK based clothing retailer.
Primark has over 125 stores, some of which are in the Ireland under the name Penneys.
The company is known for tending towards the budget end of the market, in contrast with many other clothing retailers which have become more expensive. The brand is known for being able to imitate recent fashions as reported in magazines such as Vogue (magazine) very quickly, at prices that are extraordinarily low compared with high-end ready-to-wear.
This reputation has come about despite spending very little on advertising efforts, which have consisted of little more than press releases to local newspapers when a new store opens. A major exception to this is their Christmas advertising campaign which has run on radio each Christmas (and occassionally on Irish television).
In contrast to their main competitors, Matalan and George at ASDA, Primark have never advertised on television in the UK, and there is evidence that most of Primark's customers first heard about the store through word of mouth.
The company owns several fashion brands, including:
- Atmosphere - womanswear
- Cedarwood State - casual menswear
- Denim Company - casual mens & childrenswear
- Butler & Webb - formal menswear
- Early Days - babywear
- Rebel - boyswear
- Active - sporting boyswear
- Secret Possessions - lingerie
- Young Dimension - girlswear
Penneys opened its first store in Mary Street, Dublin, Ireland in 1969, with the first UK Primark store opening in 1973. In the early 1990s, Primark acquired BHS' Republic of Ireland stores and rebranded them as Penneys. (BHS later temporarily re-entered the Irish market, but have since withdrawn again).
Prior to 1997, Penneys often shared sites with Tesco Ireland, also at the time an ABF susbsidary, however this practice ceased after the sale of PSL to Tesco in 1997. ABF decided to maintain control of Primark rather than sell it on also, despite the fact that it is the only non-food part of the operation.
In the late 90s the company acquired several premises from the bankrupt department store chain C&A. One of these, in Reading, became their UK headquarters.
In July 2005 Primark/Associated British Foods purchased the 120 branch Littlewoods retail chain for £409 million. Some of the stores, variously reported as 30 or 50, will be converted into branches of Primark, but the majority are expected to be sold on to other retailers. The Littlewoods catelogue business has been retained by the Barclay brothers and will continue to operate under the Littlewoods brand.
In November 2005, a fire at a TNT Logistics warehouse in Lutterworth destroyed up to half of Primark's UK stock. Shortages in the 2005 Christmas shopping period were anticipated.
In 2006, the company is planning to head to Spain with a branch in Madrid.
Thursday 26th of January saw the opening of the new 4 story Cardiff shop.
In December 2005, Primark acquired the lease of the former Allders site on Oxford Street in central London, and is expected to open a store there in 2007.