company_name = Primark Stores Limited
company_type = Subsidiary of Associated British Foods (ABF) plc
foundation = Dublin, Ireland (1969)
location = Dublin, Ireland
Reading, England
key_people = Arthur Ryan, chairman and managing director [ [ Primark oldie’s golden touch] , The Times, April 22, 2007. Retrieved January 28, 2008.] ,
Seamus M. Halford, Deputy Managing Director,
Patrick Prior, Finance Director,
Breege O'Donoghue, Human Resources Director
num_employees = 26,000+
revenue = £1,602m (2007) []
profit = £200m (2007)
industry = Retailer
products = Clothes, Linen also Household Goods
homepage = []

Primark Stores Limited is an Irish clothing retailer, operating in the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland and Spain. It has 161 stores with 125 in the UK, 34 in the Republic of Ireland and 8 in Spain. In the Republic of Ireland, where the company's main headquarters are based, it trades as Penney's. The company is a subsidiary of Associated British Foods (ABF) plc, employing over 26,000 people. The company positions itself as marketing fashionable clothing at competitive prices.

In England the name is generally pronounced Pry-mark (first syllable is pronounced "pry" and the second syllable with "mark"). However, in Wales, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, and Scotland the name is usually pronounced IPA|/pɹi'mɑːk/ (first syllable is pronounced "pree").

The pronunciation of name leads to some debate and while some believe the store to have originally been pronounced "Pry-mark" IPA|/pɹaɪ'mɑːk/, the company had an intensive annual advertising campaign each Christmas during the 1980s where the store was referred to on several occasions throughout the song/jingle as "Pre-Mark" IPA|/pɹi'mɑːk/. Although in the Republic of Ireland, this lyric was redubbed as 'Penneys'. [ [ Connexion | Facebook ] ] [ [ Connexion | Facebook ] ] However on the Primark corporate video, the company is pronounced "Pry-mark" IPA|/pɹaɪ'mɑːk/.cite video |title= Primark - In Our Own Words |url= |medium= Corporate Video |publisher= Associated British Foods plc |accessdate=2008-06-02 ]

Market position

Primark is known for selling clothes at the budget end of the market. The company's success is based on sourcing supply cheaply, making clothes with simple designs and fabrics, only making them in the most popular sizes, buying stock in huge bulks and varieties and not advertising. This store states that "Primark targets young, fashion-conscious under 35s, offering them high quality, fashion basics at value for money prices."

Company history

The original Penney's store was set up by Arthur Ryan and his partner Micaela Mitchell in Mary Street, Dublin, Ireland, in 1969. Arthur Ryan still remains Chairman of the company today. Primark's UK headquarters are located in Reading, Berkshire in a former Co-op department store.

In the late-1990s, Primark acquired several premises from former C&A sites. In 2001, it also became the leaseholder of the former Lewis's department store in Market Street, Manchester. In early 1995, Primark acquired Bhs's OneUp chain. In line with corporate policy, the Irish stores were rebranded as Penney's, and the British stores were rebranded as Primark. This purchase more than doubled the then size of Primark.

In February, 2005, Primark bought six former Allders sites from their administrators, Kroll. In July, 2005 the 120-branch Littlewoods retail chain was purchased for £409 million. Primark kept approximately 40 of the stores converting them to the Primark format and sold the rest to other stores such as New Look.

In 2006 Primark opened its first store in Spain. On 19 May 2006 the first store opened in Plenilunio Shopping Centre outside Madrid, Spain. On 20 September 2006 the second store opened in Nueva Condomina Shopping Centre, Murcia. Its third branch opened in November, 2007 at the Xanadú Shopping Centre and Indoor Ski Resort, between Móstoles and Arroyomolinos, some 15 miles away from central Madrid, soon followed by Jerez de la Frontera and Portugalete, near Bilbao. In autumn 2008 the first store in Germany will be opened in the shopping centre Waterfront in Bremen. It will be the anchor store of the centre.

On 5 September 2007 it was revealed that Primark had been fined £8000 for supplying clothes which breached safety regulations. Primark were fined £500 for 16 hoodies with an unsafe neck cord being sold at their stores in Gateshead and Sunderland stores.

[cite web
title="Primark prosecuted for selling dangerous clothing"
publisher= [ Gateshead Council]
] [cite web
title="Primark fined over hoodies"
publisher=" [ Birmingham Post] "

On 5 April 2007 Primark opened its UK flagship store on Oxford Street in London's West End, having acquired the lease of the former Allders site in December, 2005.

On 18 March 2008, Primark's newest store opened in the old Allders department store in The Malls, Basingstoke at 9am.

On 21 March 2008, a woman was hospitalised allegedly due to an allergic reaction to Primark briefs. []

On 4 April 2008, a three year-old girl was taken to hospital after falling about 100 feet through a gap between two escalators in the Primark store in Liverpool. []

According to the retailing trade journal, "Retail Week" and The Times newspaper, Primark is interested in expanding to Germany and later to Scandinavia and the Netherlands. Speculators say that Primark could open as many as 100 stores in Germany. cite journal
authorlink = Thompson, James
title = Primark targets Germany in plan to take on Europe
journal = Retail Week
issue = 5 October 2007
pages = page 1
publisher = Emap
] cite news |first= Steve |last= Hawkes |title= Primark to take its cheap chic continental |url= |format= |work= The Times |publisher= News International |location= London |date= 2008-06-03 |accessdate= 2008-06-03 ] However, further reports suggest Portugal and the Netherlands as the biggest target markets to invest in. [htpp:// -]


Primark carries a range of departments all identified for staff by numbers:

1 - Accessories
2 - Hosiery
4 - Lingerie
5 - Kidswear
6 - Menswear
7 - Footwear
8 - Ladieswear
11 - Household
23 - Toiletries
24 - Christmas
26 - Sports Wear

Primark's own brands

All of the company's merchandise is made specifically for the company and as such Primark has its own brand names:

* Active — sporting boyswear
* Atmosphere — womenswear and accessories
* Butler & Webb — formal menswear
* Cedarwood State — casual menswear
* Denim Co. — womenswear, casual men's and childrenswear
* Early Days — babywear
* Girl 2 Girl — young girlswear
* Opia - accessories
* Rebel Active — older boyswear
* Rebel Junior — younger boyswear
* Young Dimension — older girlswear
* Primark Home — home items
* Secret Possessions — lingerie, women's nightwear

tore structure

The Store Manager is in overall control of the store and supported by, in smaller stores an Assistant Manager or in larger stores, by a Deputy Manager and two to three Assistant Managers. There are then Senior Department Managers (abbreviated to SDM), Department Managers (DM) who are responsible for individual departments within the store and then weekend managers (position being phased out) who have the same responsiblities as DM's, but only work weekends, evening shifts (depending on particular store trading hours) and bank holidays.

Below management there are supervisors in charge of staff on a sales floor or staff on specific departments depending on the size of the store. There are then the department staff who put out stock and tidy their departments, Customer Service staff who deal with returns and exchanges along with general enquiries at the Customer Service Desk, cashiers who work on the tills, staff who supervise and look after fitting rooms, stock-room staff who deal with deliveries and cash office staff who carry out administrative duties.

Unlike other retail stores Primark has separate weekday and weekend staff and supervisors. Weekday staff work Monday to Friday on either full time 37.5-hour contracts or part time 20-hour contracts. Weekend staff work Saturday, Sunday, public holidays and usually one late night, normally Thursday on 8-hour contracts.

Working practices

In 2006, Primark joined the Ethical Trading Initiative, a collaborative forum bringing together businesses, trades unions and NGOs to work on labour rights issues in their supply chains. [ [ Primark joins Ethical Trading Initiative - Press Release - ETI ] ] ETI members commit to working towards the implementation of a code of conduct based on the International Labour Organisation's core conventions. Membership of the ETI does not, however, provide any guarantees about either the quality of a company's ethical trading policies or actual conditions on the ground. Since it joined the ETI, Primark's policies and practices have been examined sceptically as part of Labour Behind the Label's annual 'Let's Clean Up Fashion' survey [ [ Labour Behind the Label ] ] , and poor working conditions in Bangladeshi and Indian factories supplying Primark have been exposed several times [ [ War On Want : Corporate accountability : Fashion Victims ] ] , [ [,,2127241,00.html Asda, Primark and Tesco accused over clothing factories | Business | The Guardian ] ] , [ [,,2161301,00.html The sweatshop high street - more brands under fire | Business | The Guardian ] ] .

In 2005, prior to joining the ETI, Primark 2005 scored worst at just 3.5 out of 20 on an ethical index that ranks the leading clothing chains on criteria such as workers' rights and whether they do business with oppressive regimes (Mk One and Marks & Spencer were ranked second and third worst for ethics by "Ethical Consumer" magazine). The figure was contested by Primark and "Ethical Consumer" released a statement indicating that marks had been skewed due to its position in a wider company group.

Child labour

On 23 June 2008, the BBC broadcast a "Panorama" programme that showed unethical manufacturing practices in Primark's supply chain. The problem arose when undercover reporters exposed child labour in three of India's garment factories sub-contracted by Primark. [ BBC NEWS | Business | Ministers pressed on child labour ] ] One such item was a woman's hand-made embroidered top which retails in the UK at £4. Video evidence clearly showed that children were making the item. The BBC alerted Primark to their findings, to which Primark replied: "Under no circumstances would Primark ever knowingly permit such activities". Primark has since claimed to have halted business with the mentioned suppliers, although this action was criticised by child protection groups as being irresponsible and likely to cause additional hardship to the labourers arguing it would have been better to ensure working practices were turned around. However, many industry pressure groups such as Labour Behind the Label and War on Want still argue that budget retailers such as Primark are using unethical manufacturing processes in order to keep its low prices for UK consumers.


* Alam, Khorshed; M. Hearson (2006-12-08). Fashion Victimes (pdf). War on Want. Retrieved on 2006-12-10.
* Kehoe, Ian. "The very private Ryan", Sunday Business Post, 2006-08-01. Retrieved on 2006-12-10.
* Primark Stores Ltd,
* The Independent Newspaper, UK, Dec 2005/ July 2007

External links

* [ Official site]
* [ Clarification on Ethical Consumer rating of Primark]
* [ Primark Profile in 2007 'Let's Clean Up Fashion' survey]
* [ Primark's response to the Devil wears primark program]
* [ Who's the guilty party - Primark or sacked Indian suppliers?]

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