HomeBusiness NewsPRIMARK OPENS ITS 400TH STORE in Italy


PRIMARK OPENS ITS 400TH STORE in ItalyAs Primark opens its 400th store in Sicily, Italy, the now international retailer has come a long way since it opened its first single store in 1969 in Dublin, Ireland. Fast forward to today, and the company employs more than 70,000 people across its 400 stores spread across 14 countries. While everyone knows Primark for its affordable prices and amazing range of products and clothes, here’s 15 things you may not know about Primark:

  • The name ‘Primark’ comes from the Italian word ‘Prima’, which means ‘first’. Founder Arthur Ryan loved the Italian language and wanted the business to make its ‘mark’, hence Primark was born, so it’s fitting that its 400th store is based in Italy.
  • Primark is known as Penneys in Ireland but became known as Primark everywhere else after a trademark issue meant Penneys couldn’t be used outside of Ireland. Penneys already had such a loyal following that the name was kept in Ireland.
  • The Birmingham store is not only the largest Primark, it also holds the title of the Guinness World Record largest fashion retail store in the world, spanning five floors and 158,892 square ft.
  • Primark offers 17 million square feet of retail space across 400 stores – that’s the same size as 210 soccer pitches!
  • Penneys was the first major retailer in Ireland to sell condoms in the early 1990’s – up until that point they could only be bought in pharmacies or through the medical profession.
  • Over 170 nationalities make up the 70,000 strong Primark team across 14 markets.
  • In 2019, Primark’s offer expanded to include beauty studios and new hair salons. Last year, they styled customers with over 3,000 haircuts, painted 54,000 hands, and threaded 70,000 eyebrows.
  • While Primark largely focuses on its own products, it trialled a global license partnership with Disney in 2011\. Today license wear is a thriving part of its offering, including partnerships with brands like Warner Brothers, Universal, Nickelodeon, and Netflix.
  • Even though Ireland is known for its wet weather, Primark sells more umbrellas in Spain than in Ireland!
  • The Irish take Christmas very seriously – the Penneys O’Connell St Dublin store had an all-year round Christmas shop in the 90’s.
  • UK customers had their eyes on the prize when stores re-opened in the UK in June 2020, following the first lockdown: they snapped up 800,000 sets of False Lashes in the first month of re-opening.
  • Primark Manchester is home to the UK’s first Friends themed Central Perk Café which is an exact replica of the famous coffee shop from the show.
  • Primark’s Sustainable Cotton Programme**,** which started in 2013, is now the biggest sustainable cotton farming programme in the fashion industry and has trained over 160,000 farmers in sustainable farming methods.
  • There are a lot of sports fans at Primark – the business was an early sponsor of the now legendary Formula One Grand Prix team owner, Eddie Jordan and it was also a main sponsor of the famous Ireland Italia ’90 and USA ‘94 World Cup soccer teams. This continues today with new collaborations with NFL and NBA, reflecting its new US store footprint.
  • The retailer has big expansion plans; over the next five years, Primark will open at least 130 new stores, bringing its total store estate to 530 stores globally.

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