Primark celebrates 10 years in Spain with claims of victory over Zara

Irish low-cost fashion retailer says it has more customers than the Spanish brand, and its other main competitor, H&M

A Primark store in Madrid.
A Primark store in Madrid.Cordon press

Primark, the low-cost fashion retailer, is celebrating a decade in Spain and claiming that it now has more customers than either one of its main competitors, Zara and H&M.

The Irish chain employs 6,000 workers in Spain, where it has more than 40 stores. The first one opened in Madrid 10 years ago at a shopping mall called Plenilunio.

Primark is now eyeing the Basque city of Bilbao, where it plans to open a store in the downtown area

Spain is also where the fashion giant decided to establish its second-largest store, located on Madrid’s Gran Vía and second in size only to the one in Manchester, in the United Kingdom. People lined up for up to an hour to get into the store on opening day last October, and for three days after that.

According to figures offered by the consulting firm Kantar Worldpanel, Primark is now Spain’s leading fashion retailer by number of customers: 8.9 million people made purchases at their establishments in 2015, followed by Zara with 8.2 million, H&M with 6.5 million and C&A with 4.8 million.

Primark is now eyeing the Basque city of Bilbao, where it plans to open a store in the downtown area after reaching a rental deal with BBVA bank.

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Although Inditex (the parent company of Zara), H&M and Primark compete in the same market, the latter sells at lower prices and does not have any expensive items on its catalogue.

In recent years, Primark was also in the headlines for being one of 28 companies that worked with a Bangladeshi factory that collapsed in 2013, killing more than 1,100 people. The tragedy showcased the terrible working conditions of the people making the company’s clothes. Primark donated nearly €8 million to the victims’ families and announced improved working conditions.

English version by Susana Urra.

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