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Irish fast-fashion retailer Primark to open first store on Long Island

Primark has more than 385 stores in 13

Primark has more than 385 stores in 13 countries; the one above is in Valencia, Spain. Credit: LightRocket / SOPA Images via Getty Images

Irish fast-fashion retailer Primark’s push into the United States will include the popular chain opening its first store on Long Island.

Between September 2022 and September 2023, the retailer will open two more New York stores, one of which will be a 35,100-square-foot, two-level store in Green Acres Mall in Valley Stream, Primark said in a statement Monday.

The other store will be in a 35,900-square-foot space in Gertz Plaza on Jamaica Avenue in Queens.

"These new stores will mark another important milestone in bringing Primark’s unique formula of amazing fashion at amazing prices to more U.S. customers, while also creating local job opportunities in Queens and Long Island," Andy Stewart, retail president at Primark US, said in the statement.

The Green Acres Mall store will occupy part of a former J.C. Penney space, said Kelvia Payero Brito, a spokeswoman for the mall. The J.C. Penney closed in April after 63 years at the mall.

Adults' and kids' clothes

Founded in 1969, Primark stores sell adults’ and children’s clothes, as well as beauty products and home goods, at discounted prices. Most of the products it sells are its own brand, said Neil Saunders, managing director of GlobalData, a London-based market research firm with U.S. headquarters in Manhattan.

Primark is owned by Associated British Foods PLC, a London-based conglomerate whose divisions include sugar production, groceries and agriculture.

Primark has more than 385 stores in 13 countries.

In 2015, the chain entered the U.S. market, where it now has 11 stores. Its two existing stores in New York State are on Staten Island and in Brooklyn.

The company will open a store in Chicago this year and it has signed a lease for a new store in Philadelphia, Primark said in the statement.

On Feb. 25, the Town of Hempstead Industrial Development Agency approved a sublease agreement between Green Acres Mall and Primark.

The IDA holds title to the mall because the property operates under a payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement the agency approved in 2015. That agreement makes it necessary for the mall’s owner, Santa Monica, California-based real estate investment trust Macerich Co., to get the IDA’s approval for all tenant leases.

The Primark in Green Acres Mall will employ an estimated 150 full-time equivalent employees, according to the IDA.

Popular in Europe

One of the most popular clothing chains in Europe, Primark is similar to another European clothing retailer, H&M, Saunders said.

"It has men’s, women’s and kids’ clothes. It’s mostly casual with a bit of workwear. … and it has quite a quick turnaround of products in store," Saunders said.

The chain has been cautious in its rather slow expansion in the United States, he said.

For one thing, it wanted to take its time to learn more about the American market, where several European retailers have failed over the last five years, he said.

Compared to Europe, America has more competition among off-price retailers, such as TJ Maxx, Marshalls and Burlington, so Primark will have to carve out more of a niche in the United States, he said.

No online sales

Primark has suffered some big losses during the COVID-19 pandemic that began a year ago, in part because the retailer doesn't sell merchandise online, Saunders said.

As of Feb. 25, only 77 Primark stores, or 22% of the chain’s retail selling space, were open.

Primark’s sales in the first half of the year are estimated to be $3.06 billion, compared to $5.2 billion in the same period in the previous year, Associated British Foods said in February.

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