It'll never fly - Primark

The fashion chain run by the makers of Ovaltine peddles heaps of own-brand clothes in a badly-lit, bargain-bin smash-and-grab.

by
Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013

That it's a hit with budgeting youngsters doesn't raise an eyebrow. More surprising are their opponents in the scrum - label-conscious yummy mummies with one eye on the £6 gypsy skirts and the other on the fashion mag spreads.

Unlike struggling high-street mainstay M&S, Primark knows what it is.

It's cheap, and proud of it. It doesn't blow a penny on flashy advertising but it relies on word-of-mouth and puts its cash into its buyers and hi-tech stock management. It scouts what's happening on the catwalk and gets stuff on the shelves quicker than you can say 'sequinned shrug'. The result: a constantly rotating stock that has former label snobs rummaging for the biggest bargain and running to their mates to brag. If it doesn't work, no problem - it's budget/bin-it shopping.

Owner Associated British Foods reported Primark profits at £613 million last year (up 30% on the previous 12 months), while results for Next and M&S slumped. And it's set to up the ante when it opens its flagship Oxford Street store in 2007.

To cap it all, Primark - quietly doing business since 1969 - last year confirmed its acceptance into the fashionista inner circle with appearances on the hallowed pages of Vogue. Its military jacket (£12) appeared opposite a strikingly similar offering from Balenciaga (£1,190).

Tags:
MT Break

Find this article useful?

Get more great articles like this in your inbox every lunchtime

A simple cure for impostor syndrome

Opinion: It's time to stop hero-worshipping and start figuring out what greatness looks like to...

I was hired to fix Uber’s toxic culture - and I did. Here’s ...

Harvard’s Frances Frei reveals how you know when your values have gone rotten, and what...

Social responsibility may no longer be a choice

Editorial: Having securitised businesses’ loans and paid their wage bills, it’s not inconceivable the government...

What went wrong at Wirecard

And how to stop it happening to you.

Leadership lessons from Jürgen Klopp

The Liverpool manager exemplifies ‘the long win’, based not on results but on clarity of...

How to get a grip on stress

Once a zebra escapes the lion's jaws, it goes back to grazing peacefully. There's a...