Primark, the UK’s Biggest Fast-Fashion Retailer, Is Coming to Philly

It's like H&M/Zara/Forever 21 on steroids.


A Primark location in Berlin. | 360b /

Teen consumers and fast-fashion addicts alike, you’re about to get the best news ever: Primark, an Ireland-based retailer, is opening its doors in King of Prussia this November. In case you’re unfamiliar with the brand, imagine H&M, Forever 21 or Zara, take 20 to 40 percent off, and you’ve got Primark. Yup.

Primark opened in Boston earlier this month, the first of seven US stores to open in the next year and a half, a mildly aggressive US expansion plan that recalls the Great Uniqlo Takeover of 2014.  The second location will be in the King of Prussia Mall, in a 100,000-square-foot space on the lower level of the Plaza, beneath Dick’s Sporting Goods. Look for it to open in November, most likely before Black Friday. And according to Jessica Saphire, the marketing director of the Willow Grove Mall, Primark is opening in the mall in May or June 2016.

But while fast-fashion devotees should be marking their calendars, well-established rival brands (think Forever 21, Kohl’s and Old Navy) should be looking out, at least according to retail experts. Primark sells the same trendy seasonal pieces and wardrobe basics as its fast-fashion counterparts, but thanks to its astonishingly huge scale, it’s able to sell at a lower price point. (We’re taking $15 jeans, $12 sweaters and $3 towels). According to CNBC, Primark prices average at 20 percent below Forever 21, 30 percent below Old Navy, and 40 percent below H&M. So, yeah, it’s pretty cheap.

The brand’s greatest challenge is its lack of name recognition here in the US. But based on European sales numbers, that’s probably going to change pretty soon. According to Time, Primark is the U.K.’s largest clothing and accessories retailer, beating out usual suspects like Topshop and Zara. Can the company make waves stateside? Most likely, especially given our fondness for fast-fashion and off-price shopping. In any case, stay tuned for exact opening details.