Primark overseas director steps down
Thursday 09 July 2009
Primark's director of international trading has quit after less than a year, at a time when the discount fashion retailer is cranking up its European expansion programme.
The high street chain, owned by Associated British Foods, announced the departure of Guy Young, who was also responsible for buying stock for the company's overseas stores, to staff last week.
The revelation is likely to raise eyebrows among retail analysts because Mr Young was hired from Primark's discount rival on the Continent, C&A, only last summer. It is unclear if he has another job to go to.
The Independent has also learned that Primark plans to open a store in the Belgian city of Liège in November – its fourth new overseas territory in less than a year – and in Austria next year as it presses ahead with its plans to conquer Europe. Since December, Primark has launched in the Netherlands, Portugal and Germany.
Details of the international expansion come as Primark, which declined to comment, today unveils its trading update for the 40 weeks to 20 June. The figures are expected to show that Primark has outperformed some of its bigger, mid-market rivals. However, rising unemployment among its core customer base – women aged between 15 and 34 – could dent its hitherto powerful sales in the months ahead.
Primark, which has 189 stores, most of them in the UK, Ireland and Spain, opened its first Dutch outlet in the port city of Rotterdam in December, then followed up with new stores in Lisbon, Portugal, and the German city of Bremen in May. For the 24 weeks to 28 February, Primark's total sales grew by 18 per cent to £1.06bn, while its profits were up 10 per cent at £122m. Like-for-like sales, which strip out the impact of new store openings, rose by 5 per cent to buck the downward trend in the retail sector.
It is understood that Seamus Halford, the deputy managing director of Primark, has recently been focusing more on its international business, signalling the growing importance to the chain of overseas expansion. However, there is no suggestion that this has anything to do with the departure Mr Young.
Mr Halford is one of Primark's so-called "gang of four" who, along with the company's executive chairman Arthur Ryan, have helped to grow the chain into a retail powerhouse after it first opened in Dublin in 1969.
Actress sees off speculation about her face in an amazing way
Florida mother launched a petition to ban the sale of the dolls
Marvel has released first teaser trailer week early after it leaked online
- 1 Nokia no more: Microsoft drops once-ubiquitous mobile name – in favour of its Lumia brand
- 2 Renee Zellweger on plastic surgery: 'I'm living a fulfilling life and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows'
- 3 Banksy not arrested: Internet duped by fake report claiming artist's identity revealed
- 4 Australian café owner sparks debate after saying 'No' to having unruly children on premises
- 5 Paralysed man Darek Fidyka walks again after treatment by British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis
Ottawa shooting: Canadian soldier dies after being shot at National War Memorial – with one gunman killed inside parliament
Renee Zellweger on plastic surgery: 'I'm living a fulfilling life and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows'
Isis releases first video showing the stoning of woman accused of committing adultery as her father shouts 'don't call me Dad'
Banksy not arrested: Internet duped by fake report claiming artist's identity revealed
Diwali 2014: What is the festival of lights and how is it celebrated around the world?
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'
iJobs Money & Business
£24000 - £28000 per annum + bonus & benefits: Ashdown Group: IT Business Syste...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: The SThree group is a world le...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Comission: SThree: The SThree group is a world lea...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £Competitive: SThree: SThree Group and have be...