By Tony Winterburn • 04 December 2020 • 9:40
PRIMARK UK Reports £430m Sales Loss Due To Autumn Lockdown After Refusing to go Online’.
Primark’s owner has said that the autumn’s COVID-19 lockdowns have resulted in an estimated £430m loss in sales but went on to insist that the fashion chain remains on track to deliver improved profits. Primark does not sell online, and on reopening on Wednesday, pent-up demand saw queues form at several stores, some of which stayed open round the clock. Associated British Foods (ABF) said in an update ahead of its AGM that only 34 of its stores across Europe remained closed amid continued coronavirus disruption to trading since the start of the companies current financial year.
Primark had previously forecast a lower £375m hit to sales during the autumn in the face of a second wave of infections Europe-wide. However, its statement suggested Christmas shopper behaviour since had mirrored the pent-up demand witnessed in June when the first wave of coronavirus restrictions was eased. The group said it still expects Primark’s full-year 2020-21 sales and profit to be higher than 2019-20’s 362 million pounds.
The clothing chain, which like all non-essential stores was closed for four weeks, opened nine shopping centre stores overnight, including branches in Leeds, Manchester, Birmingham and Gateshead. Pictures and videos posted on social media showed shoppers queuing in the early hours of Thursday morning as they attempted to take advantage of the opportunity.
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