Primark sales remain below pre-covid levels

While Primark sales increased by 36 per cent in the 16 weeks to 8 January, they remained below figures recorded before the coronavirus pandemic.

Total sales were 5 per cent lower than the same period two years ago and like-for-like sales were 11 per cent below.

Sales in its UK stores were ahead of last year but like-for-like sales were 10 per cent below pre-pandemic levels. However, they did improve during the final quarter of its financial year 2021.

The company said that trading was impacted by a decline in footfall as a result of the rapid rise of Omicron cases but has “improved in recent weeks”.

The fast fashion brand, which refused to open an online store when covid restrictions forced its brick-and-mortar shops to close several times over the past two years, hinted that it may cut jobs by “simplifying” its in-store UK retail management structure as part of a programme to improve the efficiency of its retail stores.

Primark-owner Associated British Foods (ABF) said that the pressure from disruption to the supply chain experienced in the autumn has been alleviated.
However it warned that Primark is still experiencing some delays in dispatch at ports of origin and said it expects longer shipping times to continue for some time.

In this financial year, Primark expects to add a further 0.5 million sq ft of additional retail space. The company has a particular focus on expanding across the US, France, Italy, and Iberia.

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