Primark is a leading international clothing retailer employing more than 72,000 people in 15 countries – and growing. Everything we do is built around everyday affordability: from great quality essentials to standout style, trendsetters to multi-generational families, everyone is welcome at Primark.
1969 – Our first-ever store opens in Dublin, Ireland, trading as Penneys. It's 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 in the UK, our largest market.
2006 – Hola, España: 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 there.
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 in Germany and 8 in Belgium.
2012 – We open in Austria, with our Innsbruck store, the first of 5 in the country.
2013 – A significant milestone in Primark’s history: the launch of our Primark Sustainable Cotton Program, which aims to help farmers grow cotton using more environmentally friendly farming methods while improving their livelihoods. By the end of 2022, we had trained 160,000 farmers in more sustainable farming methods. We open up in France with a store in Marseilles, the first of 21.
2015 – This was the year we finally crossed the Atlantic, and opened our doors in the US, in Boston, still our US HQ today. Today we have 17 stores in the US with plenty more in the pipeline.
2016 – We open our doors in Arese, Italy, our first Italian store. Today we have 13 Italian stores, including our newly-opened Milan flagship.
2018 – Primark’s own-brand cosmetics get coveted Leaping Bunny status by Cruelty Free International, the gold standard certification program. 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 5 floors, and 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 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 our 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 Prague store. Our 400th store opens in Catania, Sicily, on December 1st.
2022 – Continuing our expansion, we open our first store in Romania, in the capital of Bucharest – Primark can now be found in 15 markets.
Primark was founded by Arthur Ryan in 1969 as Penneys, a single shop in Mary Street, Dublin, with the goal of bringing affordable clothing to Ireland.
Today we’re an international clothing retailer with 72,000 team members in 15 countries, but we're still built on the same foundations: everyday affordability for everyone. From great quality essentials to standout style womenswear, menswear and kidswear, plus our beauty, homeware and accessories, there's something for everyone at Primark. Fueled by creativity and a true passion for what we do, we're constantly innovating to create trending 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 in 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 are at the center of who we are as a business. We're always thinking one step ahead, adding new and exciting in-store services like 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 24 million fans engaging in our content with our social channels. And we’re rolling out a brand new customer website in our markets, showcasing a much bigger variety 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 program 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 stores by looking for the Primark Cares label's blue heart. You can find out about these commitments and more here.