Primark is set to launch into the US with its first store in Boston as it revealed a 26% operating profit increase in its first half.
Primark will open a 70,000 sq ft store in Massachusetts at the end of 2015 in the Burnham Building, which is currently being renovated, at Downtown Crossing.
The site was previously home to Boston’s Filene’s department store. The value fashion retailer plans to open the store towards the end of 2015.
Primark said it is in negotiations to open more stores in the northeast of the US through to mid-2016.
The US stores will be supported by warehousing in the region.
The retailer said: “Primark has a strong consumer following in nine countries in Western Europe. After extensive research it has been decided to take the concept to consumers in the USA.”
Primark sales hit £2.3bn and it recorded operating profit of £298m. Like-for-likes increased 4% in its first half and owner Associated British Foods also revealed the value retailer increased margin in the 24 weeks to March 1, as it prepares to open a number of stores in the second half of the year.
It said it expects retail profits to be “well ahead” across the year.
The fashion retailer said it is set to pay another $1m to the Rana Plaza Donors Trust Fund, following the collapse of the Bangladesh factory last year, which killed more than 1,000 people.
Primark had used the factory through its supplier, New Wave Bottoms.
Primark said it has paid out $12m compensation in total. It has begun making long-term payments totalling $9m. Primark also paid $2m in short-term aid to the families of all the workers employed at Rana Plaza. Another $7m was provided last year and $5m has been donated in the year to date.
Primark chairman Charles Sinclair said: “We support the International Labour Organization in urging other retailers sourcing from Rana Plaza to donate to the Trust Fund so that it can pay out in full to the remaining victims.
“The safety of the staff we employ both directly, and indirectly through our suppliers, is a high priority for the group, and the Rana Plaza tragedy underlined the imperative for change in the Bangladeshi garment industry.”