The UK clothing industry is perhaps the most competitive industry in the UK, with the top four clothing retailers such as M&S, Primark, Next and the Arcadia Group controlling only 25% of the total market share. In similar industries such as the UK food retailing, Tesco alone controls more than 25% of its market, yet the Big Four in clothing retailing only control 25% in total, a point which illustrates how fragmented Britain’s fashion retailing industry is. Despite a fragmented industry, it is Primark which has been the clear winner, with statistics showing the Irish retailer sold more clothing than any other retailer in Britain as of January 2018. It has enjoyed such tremendous growth over the last 10 years due to its low cost fashion, growing from 4th largest clothing retailer in 2013 to 2nd in 2018 and predicted to overtake market leader Marks & Spencer in 2018.
Using Pestle, Swot, Porters Five Forces and the Value Chain, this report strategically looks at the macro environmental factors and key trends driving the UK clothing retail industry and how Porters five forces of competition have shaped the structure of the industry in a way that benefits Primark more than major rivals. In doing so, we examine Primark’s value chain and cost leadership advantage and whether this can help it to build a sustainable competitive advantage in the face of trends such as Brexit or the ubiquity of smartphone shopping given Primark doesn’t even own an online shop. The report concludes with personal recommendations and suggestions for the organizations future strategic practice.