Over half (57 per cent) of all tweets that mention Primark are negative with poor in-store experiences and the lack of an e-commerce channel the most common complaints, says social media analyst firm Crimson Hexagon.
The research, which examined 129,000 tweets in the UK between January – September this year, also found that 20 per cent of people tweeting about Primark expressed a general disdain for the brand.
The negative comments may have come from shoppers who have only turned to Primark because of the economic situation, according to Danielle Pinnington, managing director of Shoppercentric. “Low price stores deliver low price by keeping costs to a minimum, which means the in-store experience can feel poor to shoppers more used to mid-market or up market environments… it may well be that the negative tweeters like the products, but struggle to stomach the environment,” she said.
Primark owner Associated British Foods boss George Weston recently told Retail Week that online could not compete with Primark’s bricks and mortar offer after posting a 44 per cent rise to £514m in full year profits yesterday.
Mrs Pinnington said Primark’s recent e-commerce tie-up with Asos was interesting as it allowed the brand to dip a toe in the water of e-commerce without major investment but was sceptical if the tactic would last much longer.
“Certainly it goes against the current tide to reject e-commerce altogether, and that strategy may become a weakness over time,” she said.
The survey also found that 21 per cent of users were tweeting positive content about the Primark brand with cheap prices the most popular subject.
7 per cent discussed factory conditions of Primark’s supply chain as an issue which gained significant media attention due to controversies around the safety, working conditions and wages of the workers producing some Primark goods.
Meanwhile, fast fashion retailer Asos enjoyed the most popular Twitter engagement online with 75 per cent of all tweets being positive. 20 per cent discussed the Asos site and praised the clothing, selection or range of sizes in 140 characters.
Last year Twitter, which is valued at $10bn, claimed 10m users in the UK and 140m worldwide.