The textile manufacture and clothing distribution industry has seen dramatic changes in recent years. Consumers’ expectations are higher today than ever before, they expect fashionable clothing at affordable prices. As a result many clothing retailers, including Primark, source clothes from countries like China, Bangladesh, India and Vietnam where materials and labour costs are lower. Primark works with a variety of manufacturers from around the world to provide consumers with what they want.
Primark has stores across the UK, Ireland, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Holland and Belgium and employs over 70,000 people across the globe. Primark is a subsidiary company of Associated British Foods (ABF). As part of ABF, the company shares important values. These values provide an ethical dimension to Primark’s activities. Being ethical means doing the right thing. For example, ethical companies provide fair working conditions for their employees, and build fair relationships with suppliers.
For Primark, acting ethically means:
taking care of its people
being a good neighbour
respecting human rights
engaging with its stakeholders.
Stakeholders are individuals, groups and organisations that have an interest in the decisions and actions of a particular business. Stakeholder engagement is the process of creating communication channels that enable stakeholders to be informed about and in some cases influence decision-making processes. This case study looks at how Primark engages with some of its key external stakeholders.