Ryan is described as a true real retail pioneer, who innovated and was never complacent, despite many successes. After 40 years leading the retail chain, Ryan stepped down from his role as CEO in 2009 but remained deeply involved in the company in his new position as chairman.
Primark is a low-cost global apparel retail giant. Founded in 1969, Primark has since developed into a retail empire consisting of more than 350 stores employing over 75,000 people in 12 countries, spread over both Europe and North America. Primark is owned by Associated British Foods. Primark is driving sales growth by expanding new stores at a breakneck pace. AB Foods expects better purchasing and fewer discounts to help offset a recent recovery in the dollar in the second half. The company has forecast a higher operating margin this year and has been reducing markdowns and benefiting from a weaker dollar that makes it cheaper to source garments from Asia. A stronger July is expected due to the improving weather. Last year had the feel-good factor, with the hot weather, the royal wedding and soccer World Cup, which boosted sales for Primark. A huge new Primark outlet in England is designed to be a concept store for the future.