After Chicago State Street Opening, Primark Says It Is ‘Just Getting Going’
Primark chicago : Primark says that it has had a “fantastic” first weekend’s trading at its newest store in Chicago’s State Street as shoppers sought out the affordable fashion lines the brand is known for across Europe.
The Chicago store, opened last Thursday, is the twelfth in the U.S. market and the first for the value fashion brand in Illinois.
The next one will be in Philadelphia within the next year, with a further two leases signed in New York state.
On the Chicago debut, a Primark spokesperson told us: “We were delighted with the fantastic response this weekend.
We had strong visitor numbers and sales—and that was with limited customers due to Covid restrictions.”
A pull factor was a new collaboration with Disney DIS -0.1% and another with the National Basketball Association featuring Chicago Bulls merchandise.
The latter includes everything from baby and toddler clothing to cropped hoodies for $16 and varsity jackets for $45.
Despite its low pricing, the store—which has created over 250 jobs—also offers items made from sustainable cotton under the Primark Cares label, and cruelty-free beauty certified by the Leaping Bunny program.
In a statement Primark said that its customers “have long asked us for a store in Chicago so we’re thrilled to be able to finally open our doors to them.”
The Chicago unit spans 36,000 sq.ft spread over three floors of womenswear, menswear and kidswear, plus footwear and homeware.
“It was the location on State Street and the chance to be part of the famous Chicago Loop that we were most excited about,” the spokesperson said.
Bigger U.S. and global footprint
Primark, owned by U.K. conglomerate Associated British Foods, says it has seen strong customer interest and demand at all of its recent American openings, in particular Florida and now Chicago.
The spokesperson told me: “Primark in the U.S. is here to stay and is really just getting going.
We have very strong growth ambitions: our next store will be in Philadelphia and we have recently signed two new leases in the New York area: Gertz Plaza in Queens and Green Acres Mall in Long Island.”
The U.S.—where Primark first launched in September 2015—is one of 13 countries that the retailer has expanded into from its home markets of the U.K. and Ireland.
So far, it has opened in seven states: Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania.
During the pandemic—and particularly in recent months with widespread European lockdowns—Primark’s American footprint plus Spain’s, have been valuable in keeping revenue up as those units stayed open.
At the end of February, of more than 390 stores globally, the 226 in Britain and Ireland were shut, with just 77 others trading, of which 11 were in the U.S.
In the half-year to February, ABF estimates the loss of sales due to store closures was $1.5 billion pushing sales down to an expected $3 billion for the period.
But the company said that when stores were open, demand was strong and trading was encouraging.
ABF singled out its business in the U.S. as “continuing to perform well, with particularly strong trading at recently-opened stores at American Dream in New Jersey; and Sawgrass Mills, Florida.
In ABF’s current financial year (ending September) the company expects to add a net 700,000 square feet of additional selling space by opening 15 new stores: five in Spain, three in the U.S., two in Italy, and one in each of the U.K., France, Netherlands, Poland, and a first store in the Czech Republic