Ireland-based fast fashion retailer Primark is continuing its steady expansion in the U.S., with plans for three new stores in the New York region next year and a total of approximately 60 stores set to open within the next five years.
The retailer opened its first U.S. store six years ago in Boston. The company’s most recent opening, its 13th, took place in Philadelphia’s Fashion District in September 2021. In the past fiscal year, almost one-third of Primark’s new store openings were in the U.S.
The company pointed to the success of recent openings outside its existing Northeast footprint, specifically in Florida and Chicago, as an indicator that its “unique formula of fashion and homewares at great value low prices is resonating more widely.” Over the last year, Primark’s total U.S. business saw 6% same-store sales growth compared to two years ago (excluding the downtown Boston store).
Reflecting the step-up in the pace of U.S. expansion, Primark has strengthened its leadership team in the country with the appointment of Kevin Tulip — who most recently led Primark’s Benelux business — as President of U.S. Operations. Former U.S. President Andy Stewart is taking on the new role of Director of Business Development for the U.S.
“With our current portfolio of 13 stores trading really well, it feels like we’ve established a strong foundation from which to accelerate our expansion in the U.S. market,” said Paul Marchant, CEO of Primark in a statement. “The three new store locations in the New York region announced today are important new additions to our offer, and the team is working hard to convert the sizeable growth potential we see in the market into more new Primark stores and more loyal Primark customers.”
But Primark may face some headwinds as it looks to expand stateside, with the entire fast fashion sector under pressure from a growing contingent of conscious consumers concerned about the environmental impact of lower cost apparel. This shift in consumer sentiment has been a primary driver behind the demise of U.S. fast fashion mainstays like Forever 21, and research shows that consumers are increasingly turning to alternatives such as resale for affordable clothes that they can enjoy without the steep environmental cost.