Primark Franchise Stores – Do They Actually Exist?

06/12/2018 18:00 | Start a business

primark stores

Associated British Foods – you may not have heard of them, but they own brands such as Ryvita, Jordans, Ovaltine and Twinings. However, by far ABF’s most well known brand is Primark. The fast-growing discount fashion chain has taken the UK by storm and now has its sights set on replicating this success in the rest of Europe and beyond.

Primark has continued to grow at a time when other huge high street stores such as House of Fraser and Debenhams are struggling to make a profit. This is thanks to Primark’s mission to help fashion fans to keep up with the latest trends without breaking the bank.

Starting from humble Irish routes the chain has flourished, and 350 Primark stores now grace towns and cities in eleven countries across Europe and America.

Primark UK

In June 1969, Primark first opened its doors in Mary Street, Dublin under the trade name Penneys (which it still uses in Ireland to this day). Within a year, four more Primark stores opened in Dublin, but it wasn’t until the company moved to the UK in 1973 that things really took off for the brand.

Primark understood that their customers wanted the latest trends quickly and cheaply and capitalised on the low cost of having clothing produced in Asia. Purchasing stores from other chains that were closing down, including C&A, Woolworth and Littlewoods, helped the expansion.

For years Primark stores have been offering fashionable clothes for men, women and children for a fraction of the price compared to the rest of the high street. Now Primark is set to beat Next to become Britain’s second-biggest clothing retailer, just behind Marks & Spencer, with annual sales up 10%.

With the ability to give shoppers want they want at an affordable price, it’s easy to understand just how Primark has managed to achieve what many of its competitors have failed to do.

Primark outside of the UK

Between 2006 and 2013, Primark stores popped up all over Europe. Spain, Germany, The Netherlands, Austria, Portugal, France and Belgium all saw the brand dominate their high streets.

In 2015, it then opened a store in Boston, Massachusetts as its first location in the US. A study carried out by Morgan Stanley a year later discovered that Primark prices were, on average, 202% lower than other US clothing brands such as Abercrombie and GAP.

Primark has continued to expand in the US with nine stores now open across the country. Part of the success that the brand has achieved in the US is thanks to the increase in value-based stores and Primark joining this market at just the right time. Just like in the UK, while other US department stores have struggled, Primark is continuing to grow, and there are plans to open new locations across the country.

Primark online shopping UK

Primark has been able to grow and meet consumer demand without selling its products online. The website is purely for browsing items, and a trip to one of the many Primark stores is necessary to make a purchase.

So why have Primark chosen not to take advantage of the thriving UK online retail industry? Well, it’s simply because their business model doesn't lend itself well to e-commerce. A test that took place in 2013 in collaboration with ASOS was cut short after just 12 weeks, and there have since been no plans to try again.

This is because Primark offers its customers the lowest possible price for the products they buy. With the shipping and returns costs associated with online sales, Primark would either have to absorb the extra expense or pass them on the customer. The fashion retailer is in no hurry to choose either of these options, and so for now, Primark stores remain on our high streets only.

Instead, profits made will be as a result of the high volume of products that consumers buy thanks to the low prices enticing them to spend more. With fashion trends changing so rapidly and consumers wanting the latest look, this is a strategy that will continue to work for this well-loved retailer.

Can you invest in a Primark franchise?

Unfortunately, Primark has no plans to expand through franchising with the clothing retailer choosing to own and operate their stores in the UK and the rest of the world.

A recent scam offering franchise opportunities for Primark stores prompted a message on the website warning interested investors. The brand stated that they were aware of an unaffiliated third party that had been offering to sell franchises in the Primark brand but that they have no plans to do so.

Alternative fashion franchise opportunities

You may not be able to open your own Primark store, but there are plenty of franchise opportunities available if you want a career in retail. Here are a couple of exciting franchises that are available for investment.


Skechers is a well-known footwear retailer that has now been in operation for over 20 years and is worth approximately $3.56 billion. It boasts a high-profile presence in shopping centres and on high streets around the country and also has international reach, with a presence in more than 160 countries and territories.

Opening a Skechers franchise requires a total investment of somewhere between £44,000 and £88,000, depending on the location. Its major selling point is its well-established brand and remarkable customer awareness ratings. Becoming a Skechers franchisee means becoming a part of one of the world’s largest and most prestigious footwear retailers.

Noa Noa

Noa Noa is a Danish-inspired fashion franchise that appeals to a predominately female market and specialises in modern, bohemian styles that communicate confidence and an appreciation for self-expression. The brand operates in 20 countries, boasts more than 60 unique concept stores and also has a presence in over 400 multi-brand stores.

Becoming a Noa Noa franchisee requires between £50,000 and £100,000 of investment. This grants you access to the entire Noa Noa franchise package and the right to operate under the brand name, as well as to use its trademarks.

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