As many high street retailers sought to consolidate their store estates this year, a bullish Paul Marchant steamed ahead with Primark’s retail rollout across the UK, Europe and the US.
His confidence in bricks-and-mortar appears to be justified: Primark’s revenue grew 6% to £7.5bn for the year to 15 September 2018, driven by an increased selling space. Profits rose 15% to £843m. Sales in the UK were up 5.3%, thanks to strong summer sell-through and lower markdowns than expected.
The Irish value chain shows no signs of slowing down: an additional 1 million sq ft of selling space in the UK, France, Germany and Spain is planned for 2019.
It will open its 160,000 sq ft store at Birmingham Pavilions before Easter 2019, followed by openings in Hastings and Bluewater later in the spring, and another in Milton Keynes in summer.
It will also open further stores across Europe, including Bordeaux and Toulouse in France, Brussels in Belgium, Seville in Spain and its first store in Slovenia.
In the US Primark stores will open in New Jersey in 2019 and Florida in 2020, taking its total US store count to 11.