Primark to create 800+ UK jobs with new store plans
We may be more used to Primark announcing new stores in growth markets, such as the USA and parts of Europe, rather than the more mature British market, but on Friday the company made it clear that it hasn't run out of steam on its ambitions for the UK.
It said it's planning to invest as much as £140 million in its UK store estate in the next two years, which will mean it opening at least four new stores and the creation of at least 850 jobs.
Primark is one of the most prominent retailers that remains heavily committed to physical shops, even to the extent that it doesn't currently have an online operation, apart from a click & collect trial.
That may have dented it severely during the pandemic when stores were closed, but it has been bouncing back since then and its physical shops remain hugely popular. The lack of online operations also means that the potential to win brand-new customers for new stores in towns where there’s no Primark nearby remains huge.
The decision to continue opening UK. Stores also make sense given that the market is a very successful one for the brand. Although like-for-like sales are still below pre-pandemic levels in parts of Europe, in the UK, they've returned to their pre-Covid levels.
The company has committed to opening in Salisbury, Teesside Park in Stockton on Tees, Craigavon in Northern Ireland and Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk.
The latter store will cover the top two floors of the former flagship Debenhams store at the Arc shopping centre. The 33,000 sq ft location will create about 90 jobs.
The news comes after a social media group called ‘Primark for Bury St Edmunds’ has been running on Facebook since 2019.
As well as the new locations, existing stores in Bradford and High Wycombe will be moved to larger sites.
Primark currently has 190 stores in Britain with 30,000 employees.
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