Love them or hate them, or whether you’re (unbeknown to family, friends and/or colleagues) a secret shopper, Primark’s owner Associated British Foods have recorded a 16% increase on last year adding they’ve had “another magnificent year”.
The chain now has a total of 278 shops in the UK and Europe and opened 21 in the last year.
AB Foods, whose grocery division is responsible for brands such as Kingsmill and Ovaltine, also performed well but the majority of the growth and performance is down to Primark.
This is particularly impressive as Primark does not rely on digital channels i.e. online shopping, for growth, instead focusing on bricks & mortar stores.
Retail analyst Anusha Couttigqane from Conlumino had this to say about the guilty pleasure of shopping at the store saying it’s “no longer something to be whispered about,” she said, adding “improved perceptions of its quality and fashionability have helped Primark to break through the fashion snobbery.”
What however remains a concern is the ongoing discussion around the ethics of garment construction, particularly around their use of cheap labour and the collapse of a factory in Bangladesh last year that supplied the brand. George Weston, AB Foods Chief Executive, said he was committed to the “safety of the staff employed by our suppliers” and goes on to add “we have now undertaken structural assessments of all of our supplier factories in Bangladesh.”
Despite these issues Primark plans to continue with its plans for further growth by entering opening its first stores in the US by the end of 2015.
Copyright Speakers Corner 2016