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Primark: History, Growth, Products, Customers and Stakeholders
The world economy today has become more interrelated, consistent and unified nowadays than it was in any earlier phases of time gone by. This is because in present times there have been rapid variations and transformations in media, transport and communications technology. This rapid change cannot be found in any other area more than it is evident in the world of textile industry and clothing distribution. The consumer today yearns for chic, fashionable, smart, stylish and reasonably priced clothes ("Providing consumers with ethically sourced garments," p. 1, thetimes100.co.uk).
Various countries from every corner of the world are busy in fabricating high street fashion to a great extent. Industries and companies buy clothes from countries that provide the advantage of cheap labor costs and lower material. Bangladesh, China, India and Turkey are among such countries that offer the mentioned benefits to the businesses worldwide. Primark is a renowned clothing retailer that works with manufacturers all around the world with the sole intention of meeting consumer demands and requirements ("Providing consumers with ethically sourced garments," p. 1, thetimes100.co.uk).
Primark is a subsidiary of Associated British Foods (ABF) ("Providing consumers with ethically sourced garments," p. 1, thetimes100.co.uk). ABF is a highly branched out group of companies. It has the benefit of an elevated level of self-sufficiency as it runs significant businesses internationally. Four sectors i.e. Sugar and Agriculture, Retail; Grocery and Ingredients are operated by Associated British Foods (ABF) ("Associated British Foods plc," abf.co.uk).
Primark is an extremely flourishing and booming retail group in the value fashion sector. It is operating in Ireland, UK, Spain, Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and Portugal with a total of 223 stores ("Associated British Foods plc"). A major percentage of ABF "s revenues and earnings are originated by the annual turnover of Primark ("Providing consumers with ethically sourced garments," p. 1, thetimes100.co.uk).
The customers who are targeted by the Primark are fashion-conscious, trendy and stylish. The customers who want the value for their money move to Primark for all occasions. Primark is all set to present value for money by:
Supplying efficient products
Offering uncomplicated and simple designs for clothes
Making use of fabrics and trims produced locally
Offering the most popular, well-liked and admired sizes for men, women and children
Avoiding heavily-budgeted advertising
Primark has adopted the strategy of growing its business by meeting the above-mentioned customer needs. It has continued to increase the number of its stores and moving into new and latest markets. Primark has also espoused the approach to source the clothes it puts on the market in a principled, just and ethical way. This fair approach has often charged Primark an added cost to itself ("Providing consumers with ethically sourced garments," p. 1, thetimes100.co.uk).
The history of Primark as an innovative, pioneering and revolutionary retailer is full of success stories as it has continued to provide its customers with affordable fashion. Primark was brought into being with the purpose of offering a distinctive and inimitable combination of fast fashion along with lean functions. The Primark tale has been one of long-lasting triumph since its inception in Ireland when the first Penneys store was opened. At present, this story is in its continuation with the opening of the latest flagship store in Liverpool ("Company History," primark.co.uk).
It was at Mary Street, Dublin that the first Penneys store was inaugurated in June 1969. The number of stores increased to 5 within a year and all these stores were present in the Greater Dublin area. The first large store outside Dublin was opened at Cork the following year. By the end of 1971, the number of stores reached to thirteen out of which 11 were in Ireland and one was in Northern Ireland ("Company History," primark.co.uk).
Shifting to Great Britain
In Ireland, the number of stores had risen to 18 by 1973. It was at this period of time that Primark opened four out-of-town stores in Great Britain. This is how Primark commenced operations in Great Britain. In 1974, the first UK high street stores were opened in Derby and Bristol. There were 18 stores in the United Kingdom and 9 in Ireland by 1984. Thus, the number of stores reached to a total of 44 in Ireland and UK; 22 stores present in each country. The first compound acquirement also took place in 1984 when Primark purchased 5 Woolworth stores in Ireland ("Company History," primark.co.uk).
Further Spreading Out
In the next ten years i.e. from 1984 to 1994, the number of stores in UK reached to 32 with the opening of 13 more stores. In Ireland, the total number of stores reached to 34 with the opening of 12 new stores. Thus, by 1994, Primark had a total of 66 stores in UK and Ireland. One of the major purchases took place in 1992 when a 50,000 sq, ft. unit was acquired as a major flagship store at O'Connell Street, Dublin. Also in 1992, BHS left Ireland ("Company History," primark.co.uk).
It won't be incorrect to state that 1995 was a milestone year for Primark as it was in this year that the business in UK developed with the acquisition of BHS One-Up discount chain. Consequently, 16 significant-sized stores were opened in UK. Most of these stores were located in the Greater London area. 1999 brought more success to Primark as 11 stores from the Co-Op, including Reading were acquired. This was considered as the next major development in Primark after 1995 ("Company History," primark.co.uk).
Primark acquired 11 C & A stores in 2000 as C & A left United Kingdom the same year. This acquisition brought the number of total Primark stores to 108; 75 in UK and 33 in Ireland. A 75,000 sq. ft. store was inaugurated in Manchester in October 2001. Later, the former stockroom space covering an area of 25,000 sq. ft. was converted. This increased the store's area to 100,000 sq. ft. Till December 2001, the number of total stores reached the figure of 109 with the opening of a 40,000 sq. ft. store in Ireland at Blanchards Town, Dublin. This raised the number of stores in Ireland from 33 to 34. Glasgow and Birmingham saw the opening of two major stores in 2002 ("Company History," primark.co.uk).
A retail space of 40,000 sq. ft. was added over during 2004-2005 as 14 new stores were opened in that period. Primark acquired 6 stores from Allders in 2005. Three out of these six stores started operating in 2006. Primark was given the acquisition of 41 out of 120 Littlewoods stores in July 2005 by Associated British Foods (ABF) ("Company History," primark.co.uk).
Growth in Spain
The first Primark store in Spain was opened in May 2006 at Plenilunio, Madrid. Another store was opened in Murcia in September 2006. The Oxford Street in London saw the opening a 70,000 sq. ft. store in April 2007. In September 2007, the Primark Liverpool was opened. Two more stores started to operate in Jerez and in Xanadu, Spain in November 2007 ("Primark," primark.co.uk).
In 2008, a total of 7 new stores started functioning in Spain in the areas of Bilbao, Islazul, Oviedo, Parque Corredor, and Zaragoza, Asturias and in A Coruna ("Company History," primark.co.uk).
Development and Spreading out into the Netherlands, Portugal, Germany and Belgium
It was in December 2008 that the first Primark store was opened in the Rotterdam, Netherlands. In May of the following year, Portugal and Germany saw the inauguration of the first two Primark stores in Lisbon and Bremen respectively. In Frankfurt, Germany, the second Primark store was opened in November 2009. In December 2009, the second store in Portugal was opened in Porto. Also in the same month, the first Primark store started operating in Liege, Belgium. The first Primark store in Gran Canaria (Las Arenas, Las Palmas) began functioning in September 2010. In November 2010, a second Primark store was opened in the Netherlands (Hoofddorp). It was also in the same month that a third store in Gran Canaria (El Mirador) was opened. The third store in Germany was opened in Gelsenkirchen in December 2010 ("Company History," primark.co.uk).
Number of Stores Trading at 15th September 2011
A total of 223 Primark stores are operating in Ireland, United Kingdom, Spain, The Netherlands, Germany, Portugal and Belgium at the moment ("Company History," primark.co.uk).
Total Number of Operating Stores
Total Number of Employees
Total Selling Space in sq. ft.
("Associated British Foods plc," abf.co.uk)
Primark is involved with multiple stakeholders and this association is remarkable. There are six ETI groups whose members are involved in working with Primark. A seventh ETI group has members who work as observers. Primark is also engaged in working with other world-famous brands like Cedarwood State, Butler and Webb, Backswing, Atmosphere etc. It has also assumed joint ventures with various NGOs and trade unions. Primark has…[continue]
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In a report on recent research in this area, Hickman (2008) states that, "Although the public recycle newspapers and bottles, only one eighth of clothes are recycled through charity shops About 70 per cent goes straight to landfill or incineration" (Hickman). This is telling example, of the way that Fast Fashion can affect the environment. The fact that these fashions are relatively cheap means that they are more easily discarded that