Primark is a leading international clothing retailer employing more than 72,000 colleagues in 15 countries – and growing. Everything we do is built around everyday affordability: from great quality essentials to stand-out style, trend setters to multi-generational families, everyone is welcome at Primark.
1969 – Our first ever store opens in Dublin, Ireland, trading as Penneys. This is still the name above the 36 stores we have in Ireland today.
1974 – Our first UK store opens in Derby. Today, we have 191 stores across the UK, our largest market.
2006 – Hola Espana – 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 – 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. By the end of 2022, we will have trained 160,000 farmers in more sustainable farming methods. We open up in France with a store in Marseilles, the first of now 21 stores.
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 with plenty more in the pipeline.
2016 – We open our doors in Arese, Italy, home to our first Italian store. Today we have 13 stores in Italy, including our newly-opened Milan flagship store.
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, followed in 2021 by Poznan.
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 opens in Catania, Sicily, on December 1st.
2022 – Continuing our expansion, we opened our first store in Romania, in the capital of Bucharest – Primark can now be found across 15 markets.
Primark was founded by Arthur Ryan in 1969 as Penneys, a single shop in Mary St, Dublin, with the goal of bringing affordable clothing to Ireland.
Today we’re an international clothing retailer with 72,000 colleagues across 15 countries, but we are still built on the same foundations: everyday affordability for everyone. From great quality essentials to stand-out style across womenswear, menswear and kidswear, plus our beauty, homeware and accessories, there is something for everyone at Primark. Fuelled by creativity and a true passion for what we do, we are constantly innovating to create design-led fashion and everyday essentials, at wallet-friendly prices.
We’ve kept our strong Irish roots but today you’ll find Primark up and down the UK, across mainland Europe, expanding into Central and Eastern Europe and just getting going in the US. With over 400 stores across 15 countries in Europe and the US, we see opportunities for growth in all our markets and expect to reach 530 stores by the end of 2026.
Our stores sit at the centre of who we are as a business. We are always thinking one step ahead adding new and exciting in-store services such as beauty and food and drink outlets to create true retail destinations. Digital plays an increasingly important role in sharing our story and engaging our customers. We have over 24m fans engaging in our content across our social channels and we’re rolling out a brand new customer website across our markets, showcasing a much bigger range of what we sell and providing customers with availability by store.
Affordability has always been at the heart of Primark. Our vision now is to make more sustainable fashion affordable for everyone. We’re focused on giving our clothing a longer life, protecting life on the planet, and improving the lives of the people who make our clothes. That’s why we’ve set out to change the way our clothes are made with our Primark Cares strategy, a wide-reaching programme of commitments we’re working to achieve by 2030. This includes ensuring our clothes will be made from recycled or more sustainably sourced materials; halving carbon emissions across our entire value chain; and pursuing a living wage for workers in the supply chain. Already over a quarter of all of our clothes are more sustainable, which customers can find in store by looking for the blue heart of the Primark Cares label. You can find out about these commitments and more here.