P Is For Primark

Are you a fashionista? Are you a quality-freak? Do you crave for unique varieties? Above all, do you want to grab these all in unbelievable prices in a single spot? Then, think no more, Primark is your shopping destination! With over 300 branches spanning over 10 countries, this Irish retailer certainly has been a market front-runner for more than 3 decades.

Primark – commencement to current

Primark, founded by Arthur Ryan, has its origin dated June 1969, in Dublin. It was christened ‘Penneys’ and still today, it is called by that name in its birth country, the Ireland. Fascinated by the huge response, the founder widened his business to England, in the year 1971. But the company was not allowed to operate under the name ‘Penneys’,as the U.S retailer JCPenney had already registered its business under that name. This paved way for the birth of the current name ‘Primark’. Hence except for Ireland, the retailer is called ‘Primark’ elsewhere. Currently, the company has its presence in 11 countries, with over 300 branches.

The company’s huge presence is in UK with nearly 174 stores in total. The biggest store of Primark is in Manchester, England. The latest addition to the family is the Amsterdam store, inaugurated in December 2016.

The retailer has also not shied away from daring concessions model of operation which was started in October 2011. It successfully runs it concessions in luxury department store Selfridges’ branches, Birmingham and Manchester.

Primark is also a Limited Company with its registered office located at 10, Grosvenor Street, London.

The current key people of Primark are Paul Marchant, the CEO; John Lytte, the COO; Steve Lawton, the trading director.

The founder and the then CEO, Ryan stepped down from his executive post in the year 2009. Since then he has continued to be the chairman and still he is.

Primark’s products – the zoomed view

Primark, a subsidiary of the British MNC ‘Associated British Foods’, offers high-end, fashion clothes in a bargain rate without making a hole in your wallet. Not only that, their catalogue range varies from clothing, which includes kids, men and women, accessories, underwear and hosiery, homeware, beauty products and beauty treatment, footwear. Primark UK is a household shopping destination in that region.

  • Clothing& Accessories

Their clothing varieties for men and women collectively includes, Tops, bottoms, sportswear, swimwear, denim, formalwear, coats, jackets, nightwear, underwear etc. They also sell innerwear and hosiery for women. The accessories list comprises of belts, hats, bags, jewelry, glasses, gloves etc.The Kids’collection of clothing and accessories starts from ‘newborn’ and proffers wide variety of options for both boys and girls. In short, they have the dresses and accessories for all seasons, for all of them.

  • Shoes

It also stocks up a wide variety of shoes’ collection ranging from casual wear to formal wear, boots, footwear accessories etc. for men, women and kids, for all seasons and all occasions.

  • Homeware

You can witness ‘everything a home needs’ under a single roof in Primark.

  • Beauty

Their beauty products constitute a wide variety of choices from cosmetics, fragrances, accessories, grooming, skincare, kids’ health & beauty, toiletries, tanning etc.

The Primark’s PS PRO make-up products are quite popular and also well received by the consumers.

So, is your mind contemplating on, how these products are any different from other retailers? Yes, partially you might be apt with the varieties mentioned. But don’t forget the cheap price for a superior quality; this can be ‘only’ found in ‘Primark’.

Don’t forget to visit, primark-online-shopping.com, to know more about Primark’s products, deals and reviews. This is a fan site of Primark, guiding you clearly on Primark’s essential buys and tips.


Primania, its social media site is quite popular with people enthusiastically posting their pictures wearing fashionably proud Primark’s dresses. The Primania was started in an effort to get ‘intimate’ with its customers, which now constitutes roughly, more than 200K visitors per week. With customers uploading pictures and commenting about the purchases, this platform helps others decide ‘what to be picked’ while visiting the store. As, the social media presence is paramount these days, the Primania has soared the revenue of Primark considerably. Primark UK’s customers mark the highest participation or contribution to the Primania.

Ethical practices

The company is a member of ‘Ethical Trading Initiative’ since 2006 and strongly emphasis and follows ethical ways in all its practices. Since 2011, the company had been identified as ‘Leader’ by the ETI.

  1. Are you wondering, how Primark manage to sell cheap without compromising on the quality? Here’s to your query.
      • Primark does not believe in spending lavishly on advertisements, except for the announcement of their store opening. If no ad, then how do they connect to the customers? Simple, with their social media presence. Dedicated ‘Primania’ and other social networking sites like Facebook helps them to connect with their customers and hear their feedback.
      • Who wouldn’t love to buy in bulk if the price is unbelievably low? Since the demand is in larger volumes for Primark, they place bulk orders with their suppliers, well in advance, encouraging them to proffer reasonably affordable prices.
      • Primark chooses suppliers with skilled workers and streamlined production practices. Thus effective production leads to lower cost utilization. Also, Primark doesn’t own any of these factories.
  1. Primark, emphasis on competent and fair wages to its factory workers. To facilitate this, they carry out internal and external audits to ensure their suppliers pay the workers the minimum wage set by the legal standards. Not only they concentrate on records, the audit team, also communicate with workers personally to examine if they are sufficiently paid and well treated. Also an important point to be noted is, these workers, they are equally paid, irrespective of whether working for retailers, who are pricey in the market or cheap bargain-rate retailer like Primark. This shows how Primark care for their suppliers and workers.
  2. Primark believes strongly in ‘green’ practices. They have partnered with CottonConnectin 2013,on a 3 year programme, to educate farmer to consume natural resources such as water effectively and use better farming techniques. By this way, they help farmer to grow more cotton in a ‘greener’ way. The programme titled as ‘Primark Sustainable Cotton Programme’ educates women to engage in sustainable farming. This programme has reported success with female farmers reporting on an average, 12.5% increase in yield, 211% in profit, and reduction of input costs by 5%. The success of this programme encouraged Primark to extend the tenure by 6 years. Also, this programme bagged several appreciations and awards. Also, in par with its greener practice, the store has substituted ‘paper carry-bags’ with the plastic ones. They also contribute to recycling and effective waste management. The 3 million Euros collected by recycling their clothes from the store, is funded towards the support for disabled children and research relating to birth defects.
  3. ‘Child Labor’ is a strict NO in Primark. This is entrenched by routine internal audits. They also raise the awareness and stress the importance of ‘children education’ to the workers.

Controversies faced by Primark

Whilst, Primark tasted success, appreciations and awards in most of its practices and business, it has also faced lots of controversies.

  • The Rana Plaza Controversy

On April 24th2013, the Bangladesh and the whole world was quite shocked to hear the collapse of Rana Plaza, an eight storied factory resulting in a huge loss of nearly 1100 factory workers. Among the factories housed at Rana Plaza, factory that manufactured Primark’s clothes was also present. Even though, the Bangladeshi government has to be primarily blamed for not enforcing the national building code strictly, the part of the blame also lies on those MNC’s that do not do a proper audit of their factories. Primark does not own any of the factories, yet they have to do a thorough check on their suppliers and their factories working condition before signing a deal.The three garment factories which were operating in Rana plaza were manufacturing clothes for Benetton, Dress barn, Kik, The Children’s place, Primark, Mango and Wal-Mart.

This incident made to question the ethical practices followed by Primark and the world debated on how the cheap rates for selling goods were possible by Primark, because of their unethical practices. To patch up the severe damage company had incurred, Primark apologized and promised to compensate to the families of workers. Around 14 million Euros have been paid in compensation of the tragedy to the factory worker’s family by Primark. Also it has encouraged the other companies, whose factories were housed in rana Plaza to participate in compensating. Since the incident, Primark has made its audits and ‘ethical code of practices’ very stringent.

BBC’s report on Child Labor practice

‘BBC’s Panorama’ and ‘The Observer’, reported the employment of Child labors from refugee camps of India in the manufacturing unit of Primark. On hearing the news, Primark, quickly sacked, three of its suppliers whose name have been identified by BBC for cruel Child Labor practices. This‘fast as lightning’ act of Primark saved its reputation among the customers.

Setting aside the few controversies, Primark has stood up to its ethical values in most of its business practices and also have captured and still capturing millions of customers world-wide.