Why Primark should think online

Rajib Roy
7 min readMay 7, 2022


Photo by Colin Maynard on Unsplash

The company which is chosen for this particular write up is a leading retailer in the UK, Primark which sells footwear, clothing and accessories for both men and women. The company has around 398 stores that operate on a worldwide basis and the customer base like this company because it provides the customer with trendy fashion at modest prices. The company belongs to the fashion retail industry and they have operations in around countries such as the UK, Portugal, Spain, the Republic of Ireland, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Austria, Italy, France and the United States. In the below-mentioned analysis, the issues of sales declination will be evaluated more comprehensively.

Product and services of Primark

The availability of products for the women’s categories is available in terms of leggings, jeggings, jumpers and cardigans, bags, coats and jackets and so on. On the other hand, the beauty product items of Primark comprise foundations, powders, body wash, shower gels, perfumes and bath bombs. The baby products are also there along with stylish denim and t-shirts for men. The new fashion trend which is called loungewear, sweatshirts and hoodies are also present as new arrivals in the company. The trending items such as a dry robe, dye cotton t-shirt, roman print tie-dye t-shirts and tie zip-up hoodies are available in the stores as well.

The main issues in the market

There are plenty of suppliers factories all over the world which give or supply the product to the company. As of 2021, the supplier factories which the company have around the globe are from India, Turkey, Romania, Italy, France, Ireland, Bangladesh, Spain, Greece, Germany and so on. In China alone, the suppliers’ range is a lot higher and the graph shows that it is around 475 and in India, it is 117.

Within the industry, there is a market of H & M and Zara which have a great customer base and new trends as well. The market of both these companies gets themselves updated with fast fashion and sustainable fashion areas. They make the products while keeping in mind the customer demands and the preferences as well through AI and 3D technologies. Technology, on the other hand, is an investment area for them. While Primark has not manifested even in the realm of online sales. Hence, the industry competition for Primark is adverse from multiple dimensions. Sales growth has been very tragic in both the years 2020 and 2021 for Primark while in the year 2019, the net sales growth was one billion British pounds. In the US, the sales were 9 % lower and in Europe alone the decline was 17 %. The preview of the latest stocks is shown on the official website of the company but it hardly shows whether they are available in the stock. Hence, the customer uses social media to check what is available and the descriptions of the products in a detailed manner. The store closing and job cutting events are pretty normal and all the other retailers have integrated it during the time of the pandemic. Despite a huge sales declination, they have become pretty adamant that they would not sell their products online.

The supply shortage risks are seen and this is the reason why the sales are seemingly at a loss state. On the other hand, the supply disruption which is issued in the company during the time of pandemic has caused them to stop the global supply of their products and this is another reason for sales declination. The sales growth in terms of the identity of the company is more compatible and also profitable for womenswear items. In the year 2020, the womenswear clothes were sold to 11.1 million while the men’s clothes were purchased by 10.3 and 6.1 people the year. Despite the sales growth in the websites, they are hopeful of launching a completely new website in the year 2022.

Practical recommendations

The most common factor that has been analysed from the above points is that Primark has suppliers and their demands from a large suppliers market of the world. This is a great opportunity if they can rapidly manifest their supply then they can create extreme sales out of such markets. Since the multichannel social media applications are utilised by the company, they need more optimisations in the field of technology.

During the time of the coronavirus outbreak, when other companies increase profit through online sales, Primark remain stagnant. This is the adamant behaviour from the end of the company owners to go online for increasing shopping deals. It is much recommended that the company needs to increase their online sales options as the consumer demands are driven towards that end only. The business model of Primark is integrated in such a manner that is not enabling Primark to go online. They believe that a high volume of returns is hard to process and there are operation costs involved as well in the spheres of the online field. This business model is making the company alienated from the modern customer base. They are also becoming rigid about their own business model and ignoring the trends that are present and revolving in the market. It is really required for them to grasp the market trend and then they will be able to produce the right products at the right time. In a generation, where the customer preferences and tastes are shifted from one company to another, keeping up with the trend is truly worthwhile. This can be done with the inclusion of big data analytics, 3D technology and Artificial Intelligence. These are the tools that can garner customer data in a detailed manner that Primark can use and make the right products. Moreover, they can make products keeping in mind the customer demand and taste and these tools can leverage better customer experience as well. The pricing strategy needs to be very competitive and in such matters, the other big fashion chains can be emulated.

Key success indicators

The technology and its respective investment would increase sales and during supply chain disruption it can be effective as well. However, the technology and its innovation require a big amount of investment which must be thought out properly before any quick decisions. They have a strength in promoting womenswear as mentioned in the aforementioned points. Hence, these areas can be increased and modified since it is already upgraded with popularity. However, the investment-related issues can be solved if they would adhere to collaborating with other companies for the sake of business growth. As I have noticed the fact that frequent job cuts and closed shop issues are very common among the companies. Hence, the description of the problem which is worth considering is technological inclusion and grasping the trend of the customers. The product ranges are varied which is quite good and in this manner, Primark has a large customer base. Starting from beauty products, accessories, fashion and womenswear, they can acquire a customer base. However, the trend which is in the market should adhere since the market works in this way. This sheer avoidance of market trends can be a huge mistake for them. Similarly, business objectives can be similar to the few change since the changes are in huge demand. The marketing agenda is fulfilled when there is a trigger involved and if the company continues to produce the same products over and over again, it will never generate sales growth.

From the above analysis, it can be stated that suppliers’ demand is great in Primark and due to this factor products are sourced. The demand can be sustained with the investment aspects which have been mentioned in the above-mentioned discussion. The technologies that are great in demand and generate curiosity among the customers are well equipped AI in stores as well as on the websites. This prospect of hope is implied in the discussions so that these aspects can be used in the best possible way. New features in the websites can grow sales growth which is also stated and the manner in which online growth is needed is also mentioned. The fashion chains during the times of economical disruptions have used online mediums and this method can be used in Primark as well. Only driving sales with technology would be a problem for the company from an investment perspective but this investment can be worthwhile.



Rajib Roy

I am a writer who likes to write about personal experiences, Business, Psychology and Fashion.