Primark is to open a further seven stores in the US, including its first in New York, through a lease deal with Sears Holdings revealed today.
The value retailer is taking on around 520,000 gross square feet of retail space in mall-based stores in the north east of the US. Primark will take on the stores over the next 12-to-18 months.
First to open late next year or early 2016 will be a store at the largest mall in the country, the King of Prussia – which is anchored by big name retailers such as Nordstrom and Macy's – located just outside of Philadelphia.
Primark will join Dick's Sporting Goods as a subtenant of Sears, taking more than 100,000 gross square feet on the ground floor.
After that, it is expected that Primark will open a 70,000 sq ft store in the Staten Island Mall in New York in 2016.
The other five specific locations and projected store openings will be announced in due course. It follows plans by the Associated British Foods-owned business to open its first US store in Boston, which is expected just before Christmas this year.
"Partnering with a globally recognized brand such as Primark to help establish its store base in the north eastern US is testimony to both our attractive store locations and our focus on transforming Sears by working with other retailers, mall owners and brands," said Sears Holdings chairman and chief executive Edward S. Lampert.
Jeff Stollenwerck, president of real estate for Sears Holdings, added: “These lease agreements with Primark illustrate how Sears Holdings is strategically transforming one of the largest retail real estate portfolios in the US over time while continuing to operate its existing stores in large, but rationalised selling space."
A Primark spokesman said: "The stores will form part of the new Primark estate in the north east of the US. ABF has already said that Primark plans to be trading from up to 10 stores by late 2016."
Shorecap analysts Darren Shirley and Clive Black liked the sound of the move, although noted ABF's other challenges had not changed its overall guidance.
In a note, the duo said:
We believe today’s announcement could herald the start of a process whereby Primark materially underpins its new space requirements across the US through further arrangements with Sears (currently with >2000 sites across the US), providing both access to a raft of prime sites across the country and good visibility on new space development with stores opened in clusters.