Fast fashion

Primark takes its high street chic to Italy, with Milan first stop

Clothing retailer nicknamed Primarni plans three stores in Italy, with first branch in the home of Armani, Prada and Versace

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 15 July, 2015, 7:08am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 15 July, 2015, 7:08am
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British fast-fashion brand Primark is taking its high street chic to Milan, one of the world’s fashion capitals.

The retailer - already nicknamed Primarni by fans - plans to open three stores in Italy within the next 12 months, starting in the city that's home to Versace, Prada and Armani. The news came as Primark revealed that its first US store, in Boston, will open in September.

John Bason, finance director of Primark’s parent company, said Primark already had stores in Germany, the UK, France and Spain, and Italy was the logical next step. Primark’s own analysis has found Italy to be the second biggest potential market for the brand in the EU, second only to Germany.

“A lot of this is about the availability of stores ... Italy is just a bit more difficult,”said Bason. “Primark will do what it has done time and time again. We will open a few stores, let’s understand the variations [in the market] and then have the confidence to accelerate.” He said the Italian venture was being overseen by a completely different team within Primark to the US venture and insisted the business was not overstretching itself.

Primark has lined up eight stores in the US, a notoriously tricky market.

In the UK, Primark’s biggest market, Bason said sales at established stores rose by between 1 and 2 per cent in the 16 weeks to 20 June.