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Primark eyes French launch

Primark is planning to launch in France in the next eight-to-10 months as the business looks to further flex its international muscles.

The value retailer has already opened stores in Germany, Spain, the Netherlands and Austria among others, but is now eyeing the French market.

George Weston, chief executive of parent company Associated British Foods, told analysts the success of competitors such as H&M, Zara, C&A and New Look had given management “reason to believe it is worth having a go”.

“They are all running significant numbers of stores in France and we think ‘why shouldn’t we be there too?’,” he said.

“Clearly the French teenager is fashionable. We are told that in France there are people with more of a tendency to buy single classic items and then accessorise around them, but we will wait to see what happens. We know we will have great fashion at some of the lowest prices on the high street - I think that will tempt them.”

Weston noted that it had become easier for Primark to secure sites in the past 18 months as the retailer had become better known by property owners.

“They know how clearly we drive footfall so I don’t think we would be stuck [securing sites],” Weston said.

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