Page 5: Customers and shareholders
Without customers retail businesses cannot exist. All businesses must understand and respond to the needs of their customers. Primark’s key strength is providing fashion-conscious consumers with affordable fashion. Unlike many high street brands, Primark does not have a large advertising and marketing budget. Instead it relies on customers to talk about its products and its business.
Upholding business reputation
Primark’s reputation is an important business asset. So Primark must respond to its customers’ concerns as well as their needs. This is why Primark is not simply committed to giving customers the best value for money, it actively seeks to meet their concerns about ethical trading. Primark’s dedication to ethical practices is demonstrated through its dedicated ethical trading website. This is a key channel of communication to its customers.
The School Project
Another method that Primark is developing to engage with its consumers is through its The School Project. This venture involves a UK school and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Students on the project are creating an online resource for other students, teachers and young people about ethical trading. They are developing curriculum resources for other schools. The project demonstrates the important roles that Primark’s stakeholders have within the ethical trading framework, whilst encouraging debates on the many issues that Primark faces in its ethical trading programmes. This project supports other initiatives aimed at the student demographic such as this The Times 100 Business Case Study.
Primark’s shareholders own shares in the company. They are able to influence key decisions, for example, through their endorsement and selection of board members. Shareholders expect Primark to foster ethical business relationships with all its stakeholders to uphold the core values of the company. One of the ways that Primark demonstrates its ethical and socially responsible behaviour to its shareholders is through the ABF Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) report.