By Tony Winterburn •
Published: 05 Dec 2020 • 8:27
Primark Enjoys ‘phenomenal’ Trading After Reopening.
The Retailer says 93pc of its selling space is now open as it predicts annual sales growth despite lockdown. The owner of Primark has revealed that the latest wave of Covid-19 lockdowns cost the fashion chain £430m in lost sales but that it has experienced a “phenomenal” jump in sales this week since stores were allowed to reopen.
The finance director of Associated British Foods (ABF), John Bason, said that trading across reopened Primark stores in England, Ireland, France and Belgium had been better than predicted. “Our trading before the lockdown and now our trading these first few days after lockdown [is] way higher than we had previously expected,” Bason said.
“It is phenomenal, in some cases we haven’t seen anything like it,” he said.
Primark reopened all 153 of its English stores on Wednesday after a month-long lockdown, with extended trading hours in an attempt to recoup some of its lost sales. Eleven stores stayed open overnight, resulting in a 40-hour trading marathon, with hundreds of shoppers queueing to get into the shops in the small hours of Thursday morning.
The company said 34 of its stores – including all those in Northern Ireland and Austria – are still temporarily closed, accounting for 7% of its total store footprint. That compares with the closure of 62% of its store space in November. The jump in pre-Christmas sales is expected to help Primark offset the £430m it lost over England’s second lockdown. The estimated loss, which was released in a trading update on Friday, is larger than the £375m hit it predicted at the start of November.
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