Primark: Introducing America to Its Favorite New Retailer

The Challenge

European department store Primark enjoys a cult following, the kind that gets people to line up around the block. We were tasked with drumming up the same kind of experience for U.S. shoppers when Primark had its first grand opening in Boston. The event created an opportunity for the retailer—and Havas PR—to introduce the Primark experience, wide product range and commitment to customer service, and to establish a foundation for future openings planned in the Northeast.

Primark launch

The Solution

Our master plan for Primark hinged on getting media buzzing well ahead of the big event, to build anticipation. We hosted desk-side meet-and-greets with top editors six months ahead of time and welcomed 65 local business and government influencers to a cocktail event with Boston’s mayor.

Havas PR also helped Primark make a lasting first impression in its formal introduction to Boston media, consumers, business leaders and community influencers with a VIP breakfast and store preview plus a front-row seat to the thrilling consumer unveiling—some media compared it with a rock concert! We created a rockin’ experience outside, too, with a popular radio DJ entertaining the queueing crowds for more than six hours, an address from Boston’s mayor broadcast from inside onto the streets, and local sweets.

The Results

Earned 140 features in U.S. broadcast, online and print media—from Boston Business Journal and The Boston Globe to CNBC and WWD—yielding almost 627 million impressions
Thousands of shoppers showed up on opening day, and lines formed just to get in the door throughout the entire opening weekend
For Primark’s King of Prussia opening, we earned more than 123.8 million impressions and 41 feature stories, including in The New York Times