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Primark, a contraction of price and mark, is an Irish company specializing in the distribution of cheap clothing, owned by Associated British Foods. It was founded in Ireland in 1969 under the name of Penneys and then developed more clearly internationally since the 2000s. Its commercial policy is based essentially on a reduction of costs and a large volume of sales.


Primark is an international textile discounter headquartered in Dublin, Republic of Ireland.

Primark stores, which typically have thousands of square feet of retail space, sell women's, men's and children's textiles, footwear and accessories, and home and cosmetic items at very low prices.

1960 - 1970

In the late 1960s, the native Canadian and founder of Associated British Foods, W. Garfield Weston, became aware of London-based Irish tie seller and trade manager Arthur Ryan. Weston commissioned Ryan with 50,000 pounds in Ireland to build a chain of discount stores. In June 1969, Ryan opened his first store on Dublin's Mary Street called Penneys. The shop exists to this day, and in the same building sits the board of the Prlmark Group. Within a year, further branches were opened in the Greater Dublin, before 1971, the first branch outside Dublin was opened in Cork City. Already in the early 1970s, the company moved the production to Asian low-wage countries.

1974 - 2016

In 1974, the first British stores opened in shopping streets in Derby and Bristol. Because of the British market name violations with the US department store chain J. C. Penney were in the room, the name for Great Britain was summarily changed to Primark. In 1984, the first multiple takeover took place with the purchase of five Irish Woolworth branches. After BHS (British Home Stores) withdrew from Ireland in 1992, a major flagship store was acquired on O'Connell Street in Dublin. When C & A withdrew from the UK in 2000, Primark acquired eleven outlets. In May 2006, Prlmark opened its first store outside of Ireland and the UK in Madrid. Prlmark has also been present in the Netherlands since the end of 2008, followed in 2009 by the first branch in Germany. Also in 2009, the first branches were opened in Portugal and Belgium. The first branch in Austria followed in September 2012 in Innsbruck. Four further branches are located in Gerasdorf near Vienna, Pasching, Seiersberg and in Vösendorf. Since December 2013, Prlmark is also represented in France. In September 2015, the first store outside Europe was opened in Boston. The first store in Italy followed in April 2016 in Milan. An online shop is not planned.

2009 - 2014

The concept of the company is to offer particularly low-priced and fashionable textiles. Primark invests heavily in optimizing the value chain to reduce costs and less in advertising. There are no changing collections offered and no final sales organized. The company is also trying to minimize the administrative burden of flat hierarchies. The company itself speaks of "intelligent technology use, efficient sales and wholesale and stock procurement". All goods offered by Primark are produced, in part under their own trade names, for Prlmark; the company does not carry brands of other manufacturers. Primark is - compared to, for example, in Germany-based fashion discounters such as NKD or KiK - managed to win with low prices and fashionable items especially the young target group for themselves. This circumstance is reflected in new openings of Primark stores sometimes in immense demand by customers, and also opponents of the Group (see section Criticism), reflected.
Primark CEO was until 2009, the company founder Arthur Ryan. Since then, the Brit Paul Marchant leads the business. Primark remains a subsidiary of Associated British Foods (ABF) and is ultimately controlled by the British branch of W. Garfield Weston's offspring through Wittington Investments. Wittington Investments Limited owns 54.5% of ABF and owns 79.2% of the Garfield Weston Foundation, founded in 1958 by W. Garfield Weston, and 20.8% of the Weston family. Primark is with 6.7 billion euros annual turnover (2014) the highest-earning subsidiary of ABF.


Prlmark stores, which typically have thousands of square feet of retail space, sell women's, men's and children's textiles, footwear and accessories, and home and cosmetic items at very low prices.
The world's largest store with a sales area of ​​around 14,400 m² is located in the English city of Manchester and extends over three floors. In Germany, Primark is based in Essen based Primark Fashion Ltd. & Co. KG represented. The largest German branch with around 8,800 m² on four floors is located in Hanover.

The company, founded in 1969, is in addition to Ireland and Great Britain (since 1973) in Spain (since 2006), the Netherlands (since 2008), Portugal (since 2009), Germany (since 2009), Belgium (since 2009), Austria (since 2012) , France (since 2013), the United States (since 2015) and Italy (since 2016), and has more than 350 branches with more than 70,000 employees. In the Republic of Ireland, all branches have always operated under the name Penneys. Primark has been a subsidiary of British food company Associated British Foods (ABF) since its founding. From 2008 to 2014, Prlmark's total revenue more than doubled, while profits increased three and a half times.

Due to its particularly low prices, the company is internationally criticized, among other things with regard to the labor, wage and production conditions in low-wage countries, pollutant levels in the goods on offer and the lack of sustainability of the textiles on offer.

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