Cut-price Primark to set up shop in highbrow Selfridges

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BUDGET clothes chain Primark is setting up concession stores in branches of the upmarket department store Selfridges.

The move comes as the cut-price retailer seeks to strengthen its hold on the high street.

The first concession stores will sell an edited version of the store’s menswear range and will include clothing, footwear and accessories.

The first outlet will open in Selfridges’ Bullring store in Birmingham on Monday, with a second to open in the Trafford Centre in Manchester on November 19.

A spokesman said: “A 100-piece collection will be sold alongside Selfridges’ existing brands and will showcase Primark’s ability to combine fashion-forward clothing and accessories with true value prices.”

The collaboration will boost Primark’s proposition on the UK high street, the spokesman added, even though the two chains operate at opposite ends of the retail spectrum.

Selfridges sells some of the world’s most expensive brands, while Primark, which is owned by Associated British Foods (ABF), offers T-shirts for £2.50.

Primark, which has 223 stores in the UK and overseas, has been one of the ABF group’s star performers in recent years.

It has ridden the boom in demand for budget clothing on the high street. The chain’s success has been based on its women’s clothes, but it has been beefing up its menswear collections recently to broaden its reach.

The chain posted interim profits of £151 million on sales of £1.4 billion, and although it cautioned earlier in the year about soaring cotton prices, these have softened recently.

It is understood that there are no plans yet for Primark to take space in Selfridges’ flagship store in London’s Oxford Street.

Womenswear will not be sold through the concessions, but the partnership could be developed further if it proves to be successful.