Saturday, July 12, 2008

Primark in the News (2)

The last time I walked past the local Primark with my son he spotted from the outside "organic cotton T-shirt £4".

I was incredulous. Here we are, organic cotton retailers struggling to procure certified organic cotton because the big players now want a piece of the cake and are coming in with their huge buying power, and we see organic cotton T-shirts at £4 at Primark.

How do they do that? How much do they (not) pay their workers to be able to afford to sell at those prices?

Today I walked past that shop again (as my local sub-post office had been forced to close I now have to take my parcels to the main office) and saw the same sign again. I meant to go in to examine the label, but somehow couldn't bring myself to do so. Maybe on the next trip.

What would Mary Portas say? Been watching her series on turning retail fashion boutiques around. How can I run a business without knowing my competition?

Here's what she has to say about Primark (Independent, 12th July 2008):

"It's when a shop is just turning the stuff over without a care for design, the environment or about selling. It just gets to me and it knackers the retail trade. I don't like it."

"I don't know what's going to happen to Primark," she says. "I don't think even the consumers know. They're a funny bunch – if you ask them what they want, they invariably don't have a clue. I do point my finger at the fashion press for helping Primark become as big as it is. All that [puts on a snivelling voice] 'Primark is the new Prada' and 'Primarni' stuff is not funny."

"What's interesting about Primark is how many middle-class people are in there, buying for their kids. I've walked through Selfridges on a busy Saturday and all you see is those brown Primark bags going up and down the escalators. So all that stuff about Primark being democratic fashion for people who can't afford anything else is b-----s."

As young children might be reading this column I've had to beep her word out. (???:-))

My son despairs, "The most common bag is the 'Primark' bag," he noted to me and his Dad, on different occasions.

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1 comment:

LSP said...

I checked the last time I walked past. £4 indeed. Another item was going at -- wait for it -- £2.50. It does not state the organization that certifies its organic cotton status, and neither does it say where the item was made. The tag is on a suitably impressive eco-friendly card.