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Iconic Irish brand is ‘shaking it up’ for its golden jubilee

1 July 2019: Today Penneys celebrates 50 years of business. Since opening its first store on Mary Street, Dublin in 1969, Penneys has become a much loved brand with Irish and international fashion fans alike. Today the company has 372 stores in 12 countries, over 75,000 employees and over 15 million sq. feet of retail space, bringing ‘Amazing Fashion at Amazing Prices’ to everyone.

Penneys, which operates as Primark outside of Ireland, has become an international success story over the last five decades. The company opened its first UK store in 1973, and began expanding into Europe in 2006 opening in Spain, followed by the Netherlands, Portugal, Germany, Belgium, Austria, France, the US and Italy. Last month saw the business open a store in Slovenia, marking its entry into Central Eastern Europe, with plans to open more new stores in Poland and the Czech Republic in the future.

Earlier this year, the company opened its largest store in Birmingham, spanning five floors and covering 160,000 sq. feet of retail space. It features Primark’s biggest beauty studio to date, a barbers and 3 new dining experiences, including the hugely popular Primark Café with Disney. The experiential concept at Birmingham demonstrates the company’s relentless focus on offering an engaging in-store experience for customers, coupled with continued product and service led innovation.

Primark continues to innovate and evolve its product offering in line with its customers’ ever-changing needs. In addition to its womenswear, menswear and kidswear offerings, it now has extensive homeware and beauty ranges and was proud to have achieved Leaping Bunny certification from Cruelty Free International for all its own brand, Primark PS… products last year. But Primark hasn’t stopped there. Ranges from jeans to homeware to pyjamas, made using sustainably sourced cotton, grown by farmers trained through Primark’s Sustainable Cotton Programme, are now a regular feature in its stores. It launched a range of eco-friendly glitter in May and Primark’s famous brown bags, which are both recyclable and made with 100% recycled fibres, have been a feature on high streets since 2002. Primark knows there’s always more to be done and is committed to making sure that its products are made with care and respect for those making them and for the environment.

As Primark continues to grow, the Mary Street store remains an important landmark with the company’s international headquarters located above the store. Arthur Ryan House, named after Primark’s visionary Chairman and Founder, is HQ for more than 700 people. The vibrant and contemporary workspace is fully equipped with its own fitness and wellbeing studio, restaurant and café. The space showcases Primark’s dynamic brand and heritage and is designed to provide employees with a closer connection to the company’s retail stores.

Speaking about the 50-year milestone, Primark CEO, Paul Marchant said:

“The doors to the very first Penneys opened on Mary Street 50 years ago today, and I am so proud of everything we have achieved together in that time - starting from humble beginnings with just one store to now serving over one million customers a day.

Today we celebrate our visionary Chairman and Founder, Mr. Arthur Ryan, and the passion and commitment of our people, who are the heart of our business. I want to personally thank all our colleagues, both past and present, for their significant contribution and outstanding dedication.

I would also like to thank our customers for their loyalty over the past five decades. We look forward to providing them with an exceptional shopping experience into the future.”

Today the company is celebrating in style in its Mary Street store and encourages customers to drop by and join in the fun and fashion from 12:00pm onwards with a live DJ, giveaways and treat stations throughout the day.