Primark predicts £650m lockdown losses

Primark has estimated a loss of £650 million in sales triggered by national store closures which are part of the government’s latest COVID-19 restrictions.

The new store closures, which as of New Year’s Day also included major cities outside of the capital, represent 64 per cent of its total retail selling space.

An extension of Tier 4 rules in locations beyond London and the South East saw non-essential stores closed across the UK, impacting around 40 million people.

Associated British Foods (ABF), which owns the budget retailer, announced that from 1 January it closed 253 Primark stores in the UK.

Last month Primark predicted a £430 million loss in sales across the Autumn period, but since the new restrictions were announced it has said that losses are likely to increase by a further £220 million.

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.

In November, ABF also underestimated sales losses at £375 million for the period of lockdown closures.

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