Fake Primark store in Dubai rattles UK retailer

Knock-off Gucci, Prada and Louis Vuitton are usually the most common luxury brands found in the numerous counterfeit bazaars across the UAE, but one of the biggest budget retailers from Europe is also now being sold in Dubai - Primark.

A Primark store, masquerading as the budget brand from the United Kingdom, has opened on Bank Street in Bur Dubai. Pawan Singh / The National
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Knock-off Gucci, Prada and Louis Vuitton are usually the most common counterfeit luxury brands found in numerous bazaars across the UAE, but one of the biggest budget retailer names from Europe is now to be seen in Dubai.

A fake Primark store opened this week in Bur Dubai on Bank Street, selling goods under the Primark label and masquerading as the budget brand from the United Kingdom.

The new store has two floors and is packed with clothing that looks like Primark's signature cheap T-shirts, socks and a underwear.

Primark denied opening a store in the UAE and sent a statement to The National explaining it was seeking legal action against the company running the fake store.

"We are aware that there is a store in Dubai that purports to be part of our group," the UK retailer said. "Primark does not operate any stores there and this is not, therefore, a legitimate Primark store. The company is considering its legal options as a matter of urgency."

The people behind the fake store could not be reached for comment, but staff at the store confirmed the clothing on sale and the look of the brand had both been modelled on the budget retailer from the UK.

After the store opened on Monday, shoppers began to excitedly talk about the brand on fashion blogs and Twitter.

"Primark is opening in Dubai!!! Yay, hope its as inexpensive as England lol," said one Twitter user.

"BREAKING NEWS: just found out Primani a.k.a #Primark has opened in Dubai!!! #Fashion #UAE," wrote another user.

Primark is one of the biggest retailers in Europe and has a total of 235 stores in the UK, Ireland, Spain, the Netherlands, Germany, Portugal and Belgium.

The brand sells a wide variety of fashion for ladies, men and children, as well as home products such as duvets and bedding.

Primark is part of Associated British Foods, which is listed on the London Stock Exchange, and yesterday announced a 3 per cent increase in profits for the first half of the year due to a strong performance by Primark.

The brand achieved a 15 per cent increase in sales as hard-hit consumers have turned to discount fashion stores in the wake of harsh austerity measures imposed by governments across Europe.

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