IT’S not just a UK shopping phenomenon, as Primark has now soared to global success and become a high street hit all over the world.
While many other popular stores have shut their doors in recent years, Primark has gone from strength to strength and, in 2018, took over as the number one clothing retailer from rival Marks & Spencer.
Now the much-loved brand, which started as just a single store in Dublin, Ireland, is hoping for even bigger and better things, with ambitious plans to open further stores in the coming years – as well as cracking the US.
But how do they keep bucking the trend? Channel 5’s fly-on-the-wall documentary, Primark: How Do They Really Do It?, goes behind-the-scenes to meet with some of its current and former employees, plus consumer experts, to find out exactly that – and plenty more store secrets you’ll want to shout about.
If you’ve ever wondered how Primark manages to entice you to buy their bargains when you had no intention of getting anything new, you’ll want to read on.
Primark’s Visual Merchandising Controller Zoe Brown revealed the brand has unique ‘Trend Zones’ which are there to encourage you to put the items in your basket – with a great strike rate.
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She explained: “The Trend Zone is a co-ordinated space at the front of the store. What you’ll find throughout Primark stores is there are coordinated spaces throughout the store.
“This is where we really bring our product to life and bring the store to life.”
While Senior Visual Merchandising Manager Charley Beddows echoed her colleagues thoughts, as she said: “Our Trend space is literally to inspire.
“Our Trend space is literally to inspire
“We have everything from your basic items all the way to our fashion forward product.
“This is our space to be creative, and put our best foot forward, but the Trend space is also there to surprise – you’re not expecting it.”
And that’s why you spend more time browsing and stocking up your baskets with everything that’s on the manicures and nearby shelves. And it’s changed on a monthly basis ready for your next trip.
Of course, the most important reason people return to Primark’s shopping aisles again and again is largely due to their low price tags.
All of this means that shoppers are much more likely to reach for that extra pair of shoes or another t-shirt, in the full knowledge that it won’t break the bank.
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While Primark has mastered the art of getting people to wander in looking for one item – before stocking up on all sorts of other things.
Retail Consultant Kate Hardcastle said: “People go into buy the kids’ trainers, or a pair of socks, and actually come out with many things.
“It’s very much about trying to sell you as much volume when you get through the door as possible.”
Move over expensive designer pieces, bargain lovers can’t get enough of the dupes on sale at ‘Primarni’.
From ‘designer’ bags to shoes that could have been straight from the catwalk, items regularly go viral and fly off of the shelves.
Kate Hardcastle explained: “Primark likes to pay tribute to high-fashion couture and items that are very much the focus of the latest fashion magazine.
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“They do that by, I would say, flying very close to the sun – a little bit too close for comfort a lot of the time.”
The same can be said for their skincare, haircare and beauty ranges, with many of their items being compared to pricier brands – and many of them even being made by the same suppliers.
IN STORE ONLY
While the rise of internet shopping has largely dominated the market, Primark is one of the only brands to be in-store purchases only and they’re reaping the rewards – and then some.
Consumer Journalist Harry Wallop explained: “One of the big differences from Primark and its other rivals is it really only wants big destination stores.”
And it’s working a treat, as customers flock to the brand’s flagship store in Birmingham – with one worker even revealing that companies run coach trips so that tourists can check it out and bag the latest bargains.
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BUILDING THE HYPE
Some shops rely heavily on TV and media marketing to spread the word, but Primark doesn’t need to when their customers are shouting about their products for free.
Thanks to their loyal social media following of over 20 million, the store’s success is largely built on word of mouth and they’ve never had to advertise the regular way.
While influencer ‘haul videos’ have taken their popularity to new heights, as avid shoppers fight to get their hands on the latest must-haves.
Primark: How Do They Really Do It? airs Thursday 25th August at 7pm and is available to watch on My5 now
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