Today we lost a true retail pioneer in Arthur Ryan…
Primark. Despite having no online presence. Are bucking the high street downturn reporting a 4.4% increase in like for like sales in the 6 months to March this year.
The chain now operates 370 stores in 12 countries with revenues of £7.4 billion in 2018. But it wasn’t always like this…
Founder. Arthur Ryan. Opened his 1st store in Dublin under the Penneys brand in 1962. But it took until 1973 before Arthur was able to take his business model to Britain.
Although. Due to an existing trademark on the Penneys name by American department store J C Penneys. Arthur had to change the companies trading name. Deciding on Primark.
Growing was still a struggle & things didn’t really kick off until 2005. Primark purchased a huge portfolio of Littlewoods stores, rebranded them & changed their business model.
Primark started to pay close attention to catwalk trends making it chic as well as cheap. It went from being the “shop that nobody admitted going to” to a Mecca for celebrity shoppers.
Today Primark contributes to the contemporary fast fashion trend. Providing many shoppers with the irresistible offer of amazing trendy clothes at amazingly low prices.
Along the way there has been controversies too…
But in 2008, UK charity War on Want, launched a new report showing conditions had not improved in Bangladeshi factories supplying Primark.
Since these initial concerns over working conditions Primark have worked hard & in 2011 and 2012, Primark achieved ‘Leader’ status in the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI).
What’s interesting for us in this story. Is the hard work & perseverance required over a long period before Arthur & Primark smashed through their glass ceiling to become successful.
Yes, the pivotal moment was in 2005 when they bought shed loads of Littlewoods stores, whilst hitting on a winning formula of following catwalk trends with trendy but cheap ranges.
Together this changed Primark’s standing from embarrassment to popular with the masses.
Let’s not forget though. It took Arthur & his team 43 years of hard graft & small steps forward. Before finding their sweet spot that rocketed the organisation into the stratosphere.
In business there’s no short cut or silver bullet. It’s been proved time & again that it takes many small steps forward over a sustained long period before an organisation becomes great.
MY Print Service launched 2 years ago to help small organisations gain certainty of their print technology spend & we know it’s going to take many more years to become great.
Our goal is to bring the service to all small organisation in the UK, Europe & the rest of world. And we’re going to work hard & persevere to make it happen.
Arthur Ryan & Primark have proved to us that hard work & perseverance pays off. But only if you’re willing to play the long game.