Primark and Selfridges&Co. are two large fashion retailers at opposite ends of the price spectrum. In fact, they are so far apart that you wouldn’t even place them on the same spectrum. Well, so you would think. As a self-confessed shopaholic, I was shocked (and dumbfounded, for like of a better word) to find a Primark concession in my nearest Selfridges&Co. store in the Trafford Centre, Manchester. After I recovered from the initial shock, I silently applauded the department store for creating such an ironic concept. My reaction was probably the same as hundreds of other like-minded shoppers and most likely the same reaction that both retailers aimed to elicit.
On the one hand, I was slightly impressed by the Primark concession as it emphasises the importance of fashion rather than cost. Simply, just because a garment is cheap doesn’t necessarily mean it’s less fashionable. On the other hand, I couldn’t help but feel irritated by it. The reason why Selfridges&Co. stocks big designer names and top high street brands at such extortionate prices is primarily due to the high quality of the product. So surely by supplying low quality Primark products to their consumers is completely contradictory of the department store’s general principle?
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not exactly condemning the affiliation between Primark and Selfridges&Co. I mean, I can’t resist a good bargain when I see one but it’s just that I’m still struggling to come up with a real theory behind it. But I guess I should stand by my first instincts being that both retailers are aiming to stress the importance of fashion, no matter what the price. So this time it looks like the saying is ‘quantity over quality’. Oh, the irony.