Thanks Hun, Penneys! 9 Facts You Didn’t Know About Ireland’s Beloved Store

One million pairs of socks sold every day. Every DAY, people.

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No doubt you’ve already trawled through the racks in Penneys this week hunting for summer festival gear.

But did you know that the €2.50 sunnies and that “er, there’s meant to be a heatwave soon” bikini you left with was just one of billions of purchases made annually in Penneys and Primark stores?

The Irish retail king has its home in Dublin city centre, but it’s turning into something of a global giant. Here are a few facts you probably didn’t know…

1. Primania! It’s called Primark outside of Ireland for copyright reasons
Penneys first expanded outside of Ireland in 1973 with a store in Derby, England. However as the name “Penneys” was already in use by US retail giant JC Penney, “Primark” was chosen instead… and it has stuck.

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2. There are a whopping 309 Penneys/Primark stores and counting 
That includes branches in the UK, Spain, Germany, France, Portugal, Austria, Italy, Ireland and the US. With stores in Boston and Philadephia already in place, there are plans for six more US stores this year alone.

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3. You’re more likely to hear “Gracias chica” than “Thanks hun”
Yup, there are 41 Primark branches in España versus 35 in Ireland.

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4. But Penneys’ official HQ is right here in Dublin
If you’ve ever been to the Mary St store, you may have noticed the Penneys’ offices right next door, in Arthur Ryan House.

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5. And the offices are very impressive indeed
The open-plan HQ has 64 meeting rooms, two auditoriums, 35 communal work spaces and a gym. Swanky.

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6. Penneys’ Executive Director is 72-year-old Breege O’Donoghue
And she’s been working for the company since she was 35. She’s a fan of Bikram yoga, horses, and is usually dressed exclusively in Penneys clobber. A woman after our own hearts.

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7. The company has seven times as many employees as Ryanair
How many employees does it take to manage, market, stock and promote 309 stores? Around 62,000… and counting.

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8. If you bought a pair of socks in Penneys recently, you’re not alone
Breege estimated to the Irish Times last year that the company sells one million pairs of socks every single day.

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9. You won’t get the same type of stock in every country
In the US, outerwear like jackets and coats fly out the doors, while in Spain it’s all about flannel PJs and nighties as there’s less central heating in homes. CEO Paul Marchant recently told the Irish Times it’s a learning curve figuring out how people in each new country “live their lives.”

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