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11/10/2021

Primark to ramp up U.S. store expansion

Marianne Wilson
Editor-in-Chief
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Primark is picking up the pace of expansion in the United States.

Primark is expanding around the world — with a big focus on the United States.

The value-priced Irish fashion retailer said it plans to accelerate the pace of expansion in the U.S, market, building on strong sales and a growing brand awareness. During the next five years, Primark expects its U.S. footprint to grow to some 60 stores, up from its current 13 locations.

Founded in Ireland in 1969 and now owned by Associated British Foods, the retailer made its U.S. debut in 2015, in downtown Boston. In September, Primark opened its 13th U.S. store, at Fashion District, Philadelphia.  The retailer said its U.S. business delivered like-for-like sales growth of 6% (excluding its downtown Boston store) for the 53 weeks to 18 September 2021, compared to the same period two years ago.

In line with its accelerated expansion, Primark announced three new locations in New York: City Point in Brooklyn; Roosevelt Field in Garden City, Long Island; and Crossgates Mall in Albany. The retailer now has five new leases signed in the New York region, with a store on Jamaica Avenue in Queens set to open next year, and another in Green Acres, Nassau County. These are in addition to a new store lease in Tysons Corner, Washington, signed earlier in the year.

“With our current portfolio of 13 stores trading really well, it feels like we’ve established a strong foundation from which to accelerate our expansion in the US market,” said Paul Marchant, CEO Primark. The three new store locations in the New York region announced today are important new additions to our offer and the team is working hard to convert the sizeable growth potential we see in the market into more new Primark stores – and more loyal Primark customers. The future for Primark in the US is looking very bright”.

Reflecting the step-up in the pace of U.S. expansion, Primark has strengthened its leadership team with the appointment of a new president, Kevin Tulip, to lead its U.S. operations. He most recently led Primark’s Benelux business. Former president Andy Stewart, is taking on the new role of director of business development, working alongside the property team on the ground.

Primark also intends to expand in France, Italy, and Iberia as well continuing to grow in Central and Eastern Europe. With stores now in the Czech Republic, Slovenia, and Poland, it has signed leases for its first store in Bratislava, Slovakia, and four further stores in Poland.

During the next five years, Primark expects to grow to 530 stores. It currently operates more than 395 locations in 14 countries.

Primark said its U.S. business performed well in its recently completed financial year, delivering like-for-like sales growth of 6% (excluding its downtown Boston store) on two years ago and a good profit margin.