Primark is an international fashion retailer employing more than 70,000 colleagues across 15 countries in Europe and the US.
Primark is an international fashion retailer employing more than 70,000 colleagues across 15 countries in Europe and the US. Founded in Ireland in 1969 under the Penneys brand, Primark aims to provide affordable choices for everyone, from great quality everyday essentials to stand-out style across women’s, men’s and kids’, as well as beauty, homeware and accessories. With a focus on creating great retail experiences in-store, Primark continues to expand across new and existing markets with the aim of reaching 530 stores by the end of 2026, including upcoming new markets of Slovakia and Hungary.
Primark is working to make more sustainable fashion affordable for everyone. Primark Cares is its commitment to doing better, every day - making more sustainable products everyone can afford, reducing its impact on the planet and improving the lives of workers. It has made a series of public commitments it plans to work towards and report on progress each year. These include making all its clothes from recycled or more sustainably sourced materials, ensuring clothing is recyclable by design, halving carbon emissions across the value chain and pursuing a living wage for workers in the supply chain. You can find out about these commitments, and much more, here.
1969 – Our first ever store opens in Dublin, Ireland, trading as Penneys. This is still the name above the 37 stores we have in Ireland today.
1974 – Our first store in England opens in Derby. Today, we have 191 stores across the UK, our largest market.
2006 – Hola España! our first store opens in Madrid, Spain where we now operate 56 stores.
2006 – We join the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI), a leading alliance of companies, trade unions, and NGOs that promotes respect for workers' rights around the globe.
2008 – We open our first store in The Netherlands in Rotterdam, the first of our 20 stores today.
2009 – Our European expansion ramps up as we set down roots in Portugal, Germany and Belgium with stores in Lisbon, Bremen, and Liege. Today we have 10 stores in Portugal, 31 stores in Germany and 8 stores in Belgium.
2012 – We open in Austria, with our store in Innsbruck, the first of our 5 stores in the country.
2013 – We open up in France with a store in Marseilles, the first of now 21 stores. A significant milestone in Primark’s history with the launch of our Primark Sustainable Cotton Programme which aims to help farmers grow cotton using more environmentally friendly farming methods while improving their livelihoods. We have now trained 252,800 farmers in more sustainable farming methods, and are on track to train 275,000 farmers by end of 2023.
2015 – This was the year we finally cross the Atlantic, and opened our doors in the US, in Boston, still our US headquarters today. Today we have 16 stores in the US and will reach 60 stores by the end of 2026.
2016 – We open our doors in Arese, Italy, home to our first Italian store. Today we have 14 stores in Italy, including our Milan flagship store and regional office.
2018 – Primark’s own-brand cosmetics receives the coveted Leaping Bunny status by Cruelty Free International, the gold standard certification programme. Primark also becomes a participant in the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Make Fashion Circular.
2019 – The world’s biggest Primark opens in Birmingham, UK, featuring five floors, and over 160,000 feet of retail space. We also entered our 12th market and first in Central Eastern Europe, in Ljubljana, Slovenia.
2020 – Poland becomes our 13th market with the opening of our new store in Warsaw. We now have 4 stores in Poland with more due to open in 2023.
2021 – Primark unveils a wide-reaching sustainability strategy Primark Cares, designed to reduce fashion waste, halve carbon emissions across its value chain and improve the lives of the people who make Primark products. We commit to change the way our clothes are made without changing our affordable prices, enabling everyone to make more sustainable choices when shopping. The Czech Republic becomes our 14th market with the opening of our new store in Prague. Our 400th store opened in Catania, Sicily, on December 1st.
2022 – Continuing our expansion, we opened our first store in Romania, our 15th market, in the capital of Bucharest. We launched a Click & Collect trial in 25 stores in the UK, where customers can purchase an extended kid’s range online and collect in store.
2023 – We will open a store in our 16th market of Slovakia.