Primark is coming to America, with US fashionistas preparing to snap up their budget items at the chain’s first store, set to open in Boston, Massachusetts, later this year.
The retail chain, which has 269 stores covering nearly 10 million square feet of selling space across Europe, is looking Stateside, as it eyes a chunk of the massive market on offer.
The British fashion giant will be treading a well-worn path as many big British names have tried to crack the American market, with varying success.
Here are 6 big British names, that Primark are undoubtedly hoping to avoid emulating, who had a tough time trying to take on the United States.
Laura AshleyFashion chain Laura Ashley was forced to sell all its US shops for a dollar in 1989 after being rocked by a series of profit warnings.
Tesco’s Fresh & EasyTesco was forced to sell its US arm, Fresh & Easy, in 2013 – after costs piled up, leaving the supermarket giant with a bill of nearly £2 billion. Tesco’s rival Sainsbury’s had similar problem, being forced to sell its Shaw’s grocery chain in 2004 after it failed to take off.
Robbie WilliamsRobbie Williams had to admit in 2013 that his dream of cracking America was over as the struggle was “too exhausting”. The former Take That singer said: “When I released my compilation album The Ego Has Landed I went to America for two months to promote it.” “The album sold one million copies. That was not bad. But I don’t want to work that hard.” “I’ve concluded not to try it again. After that I did not promote any album in the US.”
Piers MorganFormer Mirror editor Piers Morgan rode high in America as a judge on the American Idol TV show and even got his own show on CNN, before getting cancelled due to poor ratings.
HMVEntertainment giant HMV sold its last US shop in 2004 after failing to make any profit, just years before it would be forced to enter administration in Britain.
WH SmithHigh street newsagent WH Smith suffered in the retail meltdown following the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001, selling its 280 US hotel and 180 airport stores in 2003.