It’s been roughly six months since Primark opened its first U.S. store in Boston’s Downtown Crossing, but the retailer has plans for an aggressive Northeast rollout that includes opening its first stores in Staten Island and Freehold, N.J. Although the Boston flagship is in the historic, former Filene’s building, Primark has indicated it will pursue dense suburban locations for expansion, rather than downtown spots. The company will open six stores this year, including two more in Massachusetts (Burlington and South Shore Plaza malls), in Danbury, Conn., and Willow Grove, Pa. In 2017, it will open in American Dream, the megamall under construction in East Rutherford, N.J., said Jose Luis Martinez de Larramendi, president of Primark’s U.S. Corp. The firm operates a U.S. distribution center in Pennsylvania.
Martinez de Larramendi, who has run the fast-fashion giant’s businesses in Spain and Portugal, was in Boston Tuesday at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design to award two fashion scholarships. Liz LaCava, one of the winners, will intern at Primark’s Dublin headquarters this summer. The retailer has struck a yearlong partnership with the college, which included designing windows for the Downtown Crossing store opening, and a portfolio challenge that asked students to come up with fast-fashion interpretations of runway, street and celebrity trends. Throughout the semester, Primark’s team in Dublin gave regular critiques via video conference, said Sondra Grace, chair of MassArt’s fashion design department.
This story first appeared in the February 12, 2016 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Primark has similar partnerships with fashion schools in Ireland, Spain and Germany.