Primark to Israel?

By Candice Krieger
January 13, 2009

British retail sales fell at the fastest pace on record last month and experts warn that things will only get worse. Not the best time then to be getting involved then? Unless you're Israeli it seems.

Magnolia, Israel's leading retailer of silver jewelry, has recently set up shop in London's Brent Cross shopping centre, with plans for further UK stores in the pipeline, while designer Michal Negrin continues to increase her presence - in Selfridges, Liberty and Harrods to name a few. Contemporary fashion chain Castro is also rumoured to be opening in the UK later this year.

And it was reported today in Israeli newspaper Yediot Ahronot that Primark, that increasingly popular value clothing brand, is in negotiations with Israeli fashion chain H&O, to sell its stock in Israel. H&O Chairman and President Dr. Israel Peleg confirmed that the negotiations are taking place but refused to reveal details.

The news will come as a welcome distraction to Primark, which faces an inquiry investigation into whether UK factories from which it buys knitwear have broken UK employment, tax and immigration laws, following reports that a Manchester-based supplier to the chain allegedly employs illegal immigrants, paying them little more than half the minimum wage, currently £5.73 per hour for workers aged 22 and over. (That's just under NIS 33 shekels).


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