IT’S one of the most famous budget fashion chains in the UK – but do you know how Primark got its name?
The retailer first opened its doors in 1969 in Dublin and now employs over 70,000 people around the globe, with 400 stores across 14 countries.
While many shoppers affectionately refer to the shop as everything from “Primarni” to "Primada", it actually had a different original name.
When it first started serving Irish shoppers, it was called Penneys, and still goes by that name there.
However, when the chain expanded and was looking to open its first shop in England it had to rethink the name.
The issue was that the American retailer JC Penney already had the right to use the name in the region.
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It is said that founder Arthur Ryan got inspiration for the name from his love of the Italian language.
He used the word “Prima” meaning “first”, and added it to “mark”, as he was striving for his brand to leave a mark on the industry, according to Metro.
In 1974, Primark opened its first UK store in Derby, and there are now 191 stores in the UK, which is their largest market.
Meanwhile, the Birmingham store is the largest Primark in the world.
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And the store also holds the Guinness World Record for the largest fashion retail store in the world, spanning over a massive 158,892 square feet and five floors.
Primark also offers 17million square feet of space across all of its 400 stores, which is the same size as a whopping 210 soccer pitches.
Additionally, Penneys was the first major retailer in Ireland to sell condoms in the early 1990s, as up until that point they could only be bought in pharmacies or through the medical profession.
In 2019, Primark expanded to include beauty studios and hair salons as just last year, the retailer styled customers with over 3,000 haircuts, painted 54,000 hands, and threaded 70,000 eyebrows.
And while it focuses mostly on its own products, Primark has trialled a global partnership with Disney in 2011.
Today, licence wear is a huge part of its offering, with partnerships with brands like Warner Brothers, Universal, Nickelodeon, and Netflix.
And the Primark in Manchester is home to the UK’s first Friends themed Central Perk Cafe, and is an exact replica of the famous coffee shop from the show.
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