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Clothing-Discounter Primark Already Successful with Two Stores in Germany
The Irish-British clothingdiscounter
(, Dublin-Reading / Berkshire, is sounding the alarm for an attack on
the market in the lower price genre and is taking up a position against the two national lowcost suppliers KIK and NKD. Takko, C&A,
Adler, H&M and Zara are also up against a
new aggressive price vendor who is focussing
on trendy clothing. They are selling only store
brands at dumping prices under the slogan
”Look Good – Pay Less“.
The enterprise was founded
in 1969 in Dublin / Ireland by
Chairman Arthur Ryan, who
is still active. The first store in
Great Britain opened in 1973.
Until then there were already
18 stores in Ireland present,
running under the name of Penneys. On April
15th, 2007 a big Primark store opened in London, Oxford Street with 70,000 sqm, followed
by Primark Liverpool on September 12th,
2007. They are selling only store brands at
dumping prices under the slogan ”Look Good
– Pay Less“. Own stores exist therefore already in Ireland, Great Britain, Spain (first
Plenilunio/Madrid), the Netherlands (first store
in Rotterdam in December 2008), Portugal
(first store in Lisbon in May 2009) and Belgium (first store established in Liege in December 2009).
Their start in Germany
was the opening of the
first store on May 22nd
of last year in the Bre-
© Textination GmbH
(, the biggest by area at this city. On
a selling area of 5,400 sqm women’s-, men’sand kid’s-wear are presented, also home textiles, underwear, accessories and shoes.
After the big success in Bremen
the second store
was opened on
26th of November,
2009, in the
( The former area of
SinnLeffers was taken over. The offered
products on a total area of 4,675 sqm are the
same as in the center Waterfront. Frankfurt is
now 196th Primark-subsidiary in Europe. The
two first stores in Germany are seen as test
for a further expansion into this country. According to market circles there is a market potential in Germany of up to 100 shops. Stores
in shopping streets are favored.
The offeror of clothing for fashion-conscious young consumers – comparable to Topshop
( – at very favorable prices has meanwhile
worked its way up to be the
second-biggest clothing retailer
of Great Britain after Marks & Spencer. On
December 3rd, 2009, the number of stores by
country showed to be like this: Ireland 38,
Spain 14, Great Britain 138, Netherlands and
Belgium each 1, Portugal and Germany each
two. In the tough competition of prices the
discounter focusses on collection production
in big numbers. They are saving money in
administration and marketing. They place
their emphasis on word-of-mouth advertising
by satisfied customers.
Primark is a subsidiary of
the British food group Associated British Foods/ABF
( As an internationally acting enterprise
(around 28,000 employees)
with a global chain store
Primark goes for an ethically organized trade
with Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)policy. They are working together with around
600 suppliers in more than 16 countries. According to the enterprise they contribute directly to the engagement of more than
700,000 employees in three continents. The
company founder Arthur Ryan was honoured
on the 4th of March for his contribution to the
retail trade with the prestigious ”Retail Week
Awards 2010“ in the Londoner Grosvenor
House Hotel. Primark was also awarded as
the “Retailer of the Year“ and received the
Award for the ”Store Design of the Year“ for
his shop in Bristol.
According to Thorsten Rolfes,
corporate communications C&A
(, is the textile retail trade in
Germany highly competitive. Against this
background “we take every competitor very
seriously. Be it a competitor who is already
established or a new one like Primark“.
The statement of the press officer of KiK Textilien und NonFood GmbH (, Bönen,
Aniko Nadine Kalle, to Textination: “Certainly
we are watching the activities of the broad
competition and therefore also Primark, we
© Textination GmbH
don`t have them, however, confuse our own
strategy. Reason for that are the more than
2,900 KiK-subsidiaries we opened since the
founding in 1995 Europe-wide and conduct
with our success concept.”
Timm Rogler, press officer of
( commented as follows: “We do,
of course, know about the two German Primark-subsidiaries. Interesting about them are
the product presentation and the store construction. NKD differs clearly in the number of
subsidiaries and the choice of location. However, we don’t see Primark as a direct competitor so far.”
Summary of a
visit at Primark in
Frankfurt: Positive elements are
the broad aisles
in light sales
rooms, orderly drapery and markup of the
merchandise, explanation of sizes in cm and
inches, cleanliness allover – cleaning ladies
active all the time; friendly and open, mostly
younger sales personnel in astonishing great
numbers mixed with older ones in Corporate
Fashion, the shelves are freshly filled all the
time, big net-shopping bags, and despite the
long queues speedy processing at the many
cashiers – by calling out numbers, when the
cashier is free again.
The offered articles are compared to other
clothing discounters even more inexpensive,
like e.g. highly fashionable High-Heels 9 €,
summer shoes 3 €, jewellery 2 to 3 €, dress 7
€, bag 7, cushion 3 €, men’s shirt 5 €,
sweater 2 €, „Primark Home“-bedclothes 5parts at 15 €.
Critique: no toilets in the whole house, scarcity of mirrors and seats to try on shoes, big
lines at the women’s changing room (maybe
on purpose from marketing?). Teenies try on
the Primark-clothing on the open sales area.
Noticeable was the great number of teenagers leaving Primark with fully filled bags. It
is even possible “to dispose” those tops at the
next fashion trend, since the Primark Credo
is: Fashion above all, and reasonably priced.
Gert Krockert
Translation Dr.H.Arndt
© Textination GmbH