Primark is the retail division of parent company Associated British Foods plc (ABF plc), which has its headquarters in London. The current chairman of ABF plc is Charles Sinclair, and chief executive is George Weston.
George Weston is the grandson of the company's founder, W. Garfield Weston, a Canadian who started the company as Food Investments Limited in 1935. Five weeks later, the name of the company was changed to Allied Bakeries Limited, then became Associated British Foods Limited in 1960.
Primark operates under the brand Penneys in Ireland; the first store opened in Dublin in 1969. ABF's other divisions are food-related, with divisions in groceries, agriculture, sugar, and ingredients. Some of ABF's other subsidiaries include Allied Mills, ACH, George Weston Foods, and Westmill Foods, and some of the company's brands include Twinings, Ryvita, Silver Spoon, and Ovaltine (except in the United States, where Nestle owns the Ovaltine brand).
Primark founder Arthur Ryan has been Primark chairman since 2009, when he moved to that position after previously being chief executive. The current Primark CEO is Paul Marchant. Primark's headquarters remain in Dublin. Primark operates over 250 stores in the UK and Ireland, Spain, the Netherlands, Portugal, Germany, Belgium, and Austria.
The garment factory building that collapsed and killed dozens of workers in Bangladesh this week housed four garment factories on six of its eight floors. The largest of the factories, which occupied three floors, was a supplier for Primark, Bonmarche, Matalan, and Benetton, among others.