Primark set to overtake M&S as UK’s largest fashion retailer

Primark Birmingham

Primark is poised to nab title of the UK’s top clothing retailer from Marks & Spencer, following a dismal set of results this morning.

M&S has held the highest percentage of the country’s clothing market for over two decades but has been steadily losing market share to rivals since 1997.

According to analytics company Globaldata, the department store’s market share peaked in 1997 at 13.5 per cent, it has since nearly halved to an estimated 7.6 per cent.

Meanwhile discount fashion retailer Primark has seen exponential growth, rising from 4.7 per cent in 2008, to an estimated seven per cent in 2018, hot on the heels of M&S.

Only Sir Philip Green’s Arcadia Group has lost more market share over the past decade than M&S, dropping 3.1 per cent compared.

Having announced plans to shutter 100 of its stores by 2022 amid its “radical transformation plan”, M&S’s market share is now dangerously close to being overtaken by Primark.

‘‘M&S has dominated the UK clothing market for decades, but its lead as number one is perilously close to being lost to Primark this year,” Globaldata’s group retail director Maureen Hinton said.

“The closure of yet more stores will hasten the decline unless it can shift the lost sales to its online channel and transfer to its other stores. But it also has to start growing total non-food sales to stem the overall decline.

‘‘M&S certainly does not need to have so much space and so many stores to deliver its current non-food revenue (£3.8 billion in March 2017 from 303 stores and 11.3 million sq ft of selling space). John Lewis’ 49 stores generate virtually the same revenue with half the space plus its online business.”

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