Primark ramps up its Italian expansion
It’s a case of la dolce vita for Primark. True to its word, the value clothing and lifestyle retailer is back on the international expansion trail, announcing it will dramatically increase its presence in Italy.
Primark is to open eight Italian stores between the middle of this year and the end of 2022, taking its countrywide total to 14 since it entered the country five yers ago.
The first will open in Rome, within the Roma Est Shopping Centre. That will become its second city-centre store there. The first opening was pre-Christmas last year with the company noting the unit “had a very strong customer response”.
This year’s expansion tally will also include end-of-year openings in Catania, Sicily, at the Centro Sicilia Shopping Centre, and Chieti, Abruzzo, within the Megalò Shopping Centre.
The remaining five stores are scheduled to open late next year in Grugliasco, Turin, located in Shopville Le Gru; Casalecchio di Reno, Bologna, in Shopville Gran Reno; Marcianise, Caserta, in the Campania Shopping Centre; Marghera, Venice, at the Nave De Vero Shopping Centre; and Milan, on Via Torino. The latter location will also house Primark Italy’s regional office.
The new stores will all feature women’s, men’s and children’s fashion including footwear, accessories, as well as lingerie, beauty and homeware.
With a business totally reliant on physical stores, international expansion remains an essential path to maintain the group's sales and earnings potential.
Despite international lockdowns and trading restrictions due to the global pandemic, it managed to open six new units in France, Spain, the US and Italy in the 27 weeks to the end of February.
At the time, the company described customer reaction to these openings as “striking”.
But it has been hit hard by the pandemic and needs economies to reopen so it can make the most of the huge popularity of its physical shops.
The brand also plans to open 15 new stores over the next six months in Spain, the US, the UK, France, the Netherlands, Poland and Czechia and, of course, Italy. It also has a longer-term pipeline of new stores in the US, Spain, France and Poland.
In all, an additional net 0.7 million sq ft of selling space is expected to be added in its current financial year.
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