Primark is a subsidiary company of the ABF (Associated British Foods) Group. The company was launched in 1969 in Ireland trading as Penny's. By 2000, there were over 100 stores across Britain and Ireland. By 2012 Primark had 238 branches across the UK, Ireland and Europe. Primark has become distinctive for offering unbeatable value whilst never losing its innovative, fashion-driven fashion businesses. It does not manufacture goods itself, but expertise lies in understanding its customers and working with its suppliers to produce goods to Primark’s specification. It then gets the right goods to the right places at the right prices. Its profitability depends on sheer volume of sales driven by its value-for-money prices that relies on low costs achieved through economies of scale and efficient distribution.
Primark’s products are mainly sourced from suppliers in Europe and Asia. Its key sourcing countries are China, India, Bangladesh and Turkey. Putting the manufacturing of garments into these countries creates jobs. These are often at better rates of pay than other types of work on offer, improving overall standards of living. In recent years particularly in the last five years, there has been series of public debates and discussions accusing the business of not paying adequate attention to the Corporate Social Responsibilities aspect of its business activities. Most recent accusation was that of the plight and the working conditions of those working with the company’s main suppliers from China, Indian and Bangladesh to mention a few. For an organisation with such a global brand and image, this is not the kind of publicity you would like.
In a bid to resolving this issue once and for all and to complement the existing CSR practices already in place, the company has asked you to carrry out a research and explore the significance of implementing CSR activities within Primark in achieving sustainable objectives.