When High Street fashion giant Primark launched its Scottish flagship store Scotland’s most famous street, it faced a series of challenges which led it to call in our consumer PR specialists.
Normally a launch of this scale would be an easy PR win for Primark – indeed it had a templated formula for eight other European launches happening within six weeks of the Scottish event.
However, construction of the new store had raised dissenting voices over its location in a World Heritage Site, along with a range of other planning hurdles, on top of a crippling recession in the retail sector.
The challenge was to create positive stories, highlighting the benefits for the local and national economy and making it the most talked about retail opening in Scotland in 2011.
Primark recruited Holyrood PR to ensure the Princes Street launch was a commercial success – both for it and for the Scottish capital. The Princes Street launch is the company’s most successful in Scotland.
Primark recognised that the Edinburgh launch had to be very different from its other European openings.
While it already operated at 18 sites in Scotland, it was also crucially important to reflect the new outlet’s Scottish flagship status.
For that to happen, it was essential to secure buy-in from the main Edinburgh news titles while also ensuring the wider Scottish media was well served.
The agreed campaign targets were:
- Create positive buzz and deflect any negative coverage around Primark’s arrival on Princes Street.
- Organise a ‘must attend’ pre-launch event to generate media and consumer buzz.
- Attract as many customers as possible on the opening day
- Deliver a minimum pieces of national consumer print/broadcast coverage
- Target Reach – 10million consumers
- Position Primark as a leading provider of affordable high street fashion, through key message penetration of 50%
What we did
The campaign focused on both fashion and the financial impact of the opening.
A successful tie up with the Edinburgh Evening News (EEN) delivered positive waves of coverage, including a two-page fashion spread, giving city shoppers an exclusive first look at the products – we sourced clothes, models, venue and make-up.
We also arranged for the EEN to exclusively announce the opening date, followed up with coverage across national titles and broadcasters.
A drip-feed of positive stories followed, including how many jobs would be created, the economic benefits to the area, the unusual construction processes and the products on offer.
For the launch event we arranged for key media, local dignitaries and marketing/tourism groups a first look inside the store. We organised everything from the attendance of the Lord Provost , to the Scottish-themed canapés.
We also worked with STV Online and Radio Forth separately to offer a series of competitions to win £500 vouchers.