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Primark overtakes George at Asda

Primark has overtaken George at Asda to become the biggest value fashion retailer.

According to figures from retail research firm Verdict, reported in The Daily Telegraph today, Primark’s market share by value rose from 16.5% to 17.7% during 2008. Asda’s George clothing business also saw its market share climb slightly, but it rose from 16.9% to  16.94% during the year.

Tesco’s clothing business overtook TK Maxx to be the third largest low price clothing retailer by value of market share. The report also said that growth in the sector will continue to slow in 2009, and that clothing prices would start to rise by 2010, as the era of price deflation comes to and end.

Earlier this month Primark was the subject of another supplier scandal. The BBC alleged that one of its suppliers, Manchester-Based TNS Knitwear, had employed illegal immigrants and paid some of its staff below the minimum wage. In 2008, Primark was also the subject of a BBC Panorama documentary which investigated some of its suppliers in India, which it said had sub-contracted work out to companies that used child labour. However the negative publicity around both of these cases appears to have had little effect on shopper attitude towards the Primark brand.

Primark reported Christmas sales ahead 18% last week.

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