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Primark Testing Waters With French Stores

The retailer's finance director, John Bason, was quoted in the British press as saying that the stores would be opening toward the end of the fiscal year.

Budget fashion retailer Primark is planning a move into France.

This story first appeared in the January 22, 2013 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

“They are [testing] a small number of stores in France,” said a source close to the company, adding “there are no firm plans at the moment.”

Last week, the store’s finance director, John Bason, was quoted in the British press as saying that the stores would be opening toward the end of the fiscal year. The U.K. brand, which is owned by Associated British Foods (ABF), declined to comment further.

Last week, Primark revealed a 25 percent sales increase in the 16 weeks to Jan. 5, helped by new stores. During the period, 14 Primark stores opened: six in Spain, four in the UK, one each in Germany and the Netherlands, and the first two Primark stores in Austria.

Primark is not the only British high-street brand to make a move into European markets. In November, Marks & Spencer entered four new countries on the continent: Germany, Spain, Austria and Belgium.