The secrets of Primark’s success

What is the secret that Primark hides to become a phenomenon among consumers? What is the magic formula for this Irish chain that will soon land in Salt to be able to gather in front of its premises meters and meters of people waiting in line to enter? Will their prices be more than competitive, will their offer be not just textile? Or does he know how to be attentive to the consumer market and adapt at all times? For example, last December, its stores in the UK opened 24 hours a day – yes, yes, so uninterruptedly – to facilitate the purchases of an audience, the British, who are the kings of consumption.

The British, for example, in the summer are already beginning to advance their Christmas shopping and even in certain shops you can already find Christmas ornaments and postcards. Primark has been moving to legendary stores like Debenhams and Selfridges. It is a commercial war to keep the market as it once starred in El Corte Inglés and the now defunct Galerias Preciados in Madrid. The Debenhams chain – aimed at an older audience – has not been able to resist and recently announced that it was entering a liquidation process.

Primark has been able to reach a generally young audience with little purchasing power, but who often wants to renew their wardrobe. It is the model of constant consumption, almost weekly. The interior of their stores are basically characterized by their austerity. They also do not have external shop windows. Inside, clothes and products are distributed on shelves and hangers and at each entrance there are dozens and dozens of large mesh bags to fill … a business strategy that already causes you a desire to consume. And another of its features is when it comes to paying. People’s queues outside move in as well but charge you relatively quickly because there are up to 15 or 20 cash lines.

Primark does not do conventional advertising, nor does Zara – the Galician group only puts two pages of advertising a year in the newspapers coinciding with the start of summer and winter sales – and here we could find some similarities. Zara always chooses to combine its presence in the best avenues and streets of each city with the opening also within the shopping centers where it shares space with other commercial firms. Primark has done the same in Madrid and Barcelona where it has opened large stores in emblematic buildings in the heart of Madrid’s Gran Via and in the former headquarters of the Central Bank in Plaça Catalunya in the Catalan capital. Zara always tries to be very close to its competition. In London, for example, he located one of his shops a few meters from one of the entrances to the iconic Harrod’s stores. Primark often does this where some H&M is nearby, with a sales model very similar to theirs.

A study by IESE Insigth Bussines Knowledge some time ago looked at consumption habits and why Primark had adapted so well to buyers ’habits. First, their products are limited and their own, that is, when they run out of stock they are not replenished. Whoever wants a piece of clothing or an item must buy it at the time. If you wait a few days or if you want to ruminate you may not find it anymore. Zara also has this strategy, that of constant renewal.

Another key is its very low operating costs. What they save on flashy showcases or advertising where they move on to their prices to be more competitive. And finally, they are always looking to be in big stores. No establishments with a rather limited area. The center of Madrid’s Gran Via is an example with its five floors. In fact, it is considered the largest store in Spain.

Primark has chosen the Espai Gironès shopping center in Salt to locate its first store in the Girona region because it is precisely the model with which it operates: a large store – there is talk of two floors – in a space where there are other brands – also its competition- and where leisure and gastronomy are combined. Success is assured.


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