Primark: fast fashion which delivers what customers want and expect

Primark, the UK multi-billion pound chain of clothing stores, is a great example of a retail-outlet creating Hysteria deep inside the hearts and minds of its customers. The predominantly  female public craves the 5 pound t-shirts, 6 pound skirts, 10 pound shoes and other ridiculously low priced articles. Smash ‘n’ Grab is a term which is reinvented every Saturday and Sunday in many of the Primark highstreet stores.



I LOVE: 162.000 // I HATE: 34.000


Clearly from scenes at Primarks’ around the country, the images on this page and the Love/Hate challenge above, Britain loves Primark! Or well, at least where Primark stands for. Which is trendy fast fashion, low prices for everything, a lot of choice and most importantly! (and here some shopping psychology comes in) the experience at a Primark. This experience stimulates a part of our brain which ‘wants to have a good deal, is competitive, does not want to miss out’. Psychologist and consumer research know this for years and in Buyology, the book reviewed here too, this is indicated as: mirror neurons.


UK Retail Guru, Mary Portas, who recently headed the review of Britains’ failing highstreets’, has given quite a lot of her public attention to Primark. Her conclusions are that Primark gives ‘an unsettling shopping experience’, this ‘is a business with a fundamental flaw’, delivers ‘poor customer service’ and sells ‘disposable fashion’. A lot of her review seemed to be aimed at making the ‘popular in the right circles’ comments, however from an expert as she claims to be, especially the claim that about the fundamental flaw deserves a proper review. That review you can read here at the follow-up blogpost.


So, sales are up, many copy-cats arrive at the highstreet, some people hate it, many love it, what can we learn from it.



  • Customer service?

Who told you customers care about service? Re-think your model: are you the cheapest, do you sell value for money, do you sell value and service? 80% of businesses are stuck-in-the-middle and offer too little to customers where it counts and too much where it does not.

  • Do what your customers expect from you exceptionally well, don’t do anything else

Yes, you need to wait long for a dressing room. Yes, staff is not friendly. Yes, you need to wait with 50 others in line to pay. Yes, it is a mess. But hey, if your customers expect it from you and know this is the case, what’s the worry! Your customers want cheap clothes, sell them cheap clothes!

  • Advertising 1.0 – waste of money. Advertising 2.0 – serious waste of money. Advertising 0.0 – the Primark way : Don’t Advertise

“Our customers do the talking”, is what Primark says. “We have no advertising costs”. Think about it, advertising is a means not an end! Does your brand or store potentially benefit from advertising, of course. Does it make sense, does it support your brand image, do your customers value your advertising? Definitely not always!





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  1. [...] what can you say. It is busy, full, staff is running around, it is messy. But hey; people love it. Lot of choice, [...]

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