Primark loses £430m during autumn period

The owner of Primark has estimated a £430 million loss in sales across the autumn period as the bricks and mortar retailer suffered from lockdown closures.

Primark does not have an online store operation, which is likely to have contributed to such a significant loss during Coronavirus restrictions.
Despite the drop in sales, the budget retailer has said that is has no plans to trade online.

Last month Associated British Foods (ABF), which owns Primark, underestimated sales losses at £375 million for the period of lockdown closures.
The ABF said that despite the currently announced periods of restriction, it expects Primark sales and profit to be higher this financial year compared to last.

Primark stores in the Republic of Ireland, England, France, and Belgium opened this week.

“Sales in the days since reopening in each of these markets have once again been very strong, reflecting the excitement and appeal of the Primark offering,” said George Weston, chief executive, ABF. “We have extended the opening hours during this festive season in most of our stores in the Republic of Ireland and England to cater for the anticipated higher customer demand and to help ensure a safer environment by spreading shopping hours over a longer period.”

34 stores remain closed, including all those located in Northern Ireland and Austria, representing 7 per cent of the retailers sites, compared to 62 per cent when the highest number of stores were closed in November.

“Following a three-month closure, Primark delivered a robust performance, receiving an overwhelmingly positive response when it safely welcomed customers back to its stores,” said George Weston, chief executive, ABF. “Uncertainty about temporary store closures in the short-term remains, but sales since reopening to the year end of £2bn demonstrate the relevance and appeal of our value-for-money offering.

“We have the people and the cash resources to meet the challenges ahead and we are investing for the future.”

Primark has this year opened new stores in the US, Italy and Spain, bringing the total number of global sites to 389, and has plans for further expansion.

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