Side entrance to Coventry Primark store
Image Source: Hazel Nicholson
Chloe Shakesby

Primark owner "encouraged by strength of sales" despite 12 per cent post-lockdown drop

The owner of an international fashion retailer has announced that its sales are “recovering” despite a drop following the UK’s lockdown.

Associated British Foods, which owns Primark, reported this morning that the company’s UK sales since reopening are likely to be 12 per cent lower than last year, with European sales dropping by 17 per cent and US sales by 9 per cent.

The group also confirmed plans to open 14 new stores internationally in the next year.

The new stores will include one in the UK, three in the US, and ten across Europe, including its first store in Czechia.

The group commented: “Since reopening we have traded strongly, attracting customers with our value-for-money offering and a welcoming and safe store environment.

“Cumulative sales since reopening to the year-end are expected to be £2bn and our adjusted operating profit on an IFRS16 basis for the year, before exceptional items, is now expected to be at least at the top end of the previously advised £300-350m range.

“Total customer spend on clothing, footwear and accessories in our markets has been impacted by COVID-19. It has been recovering from a low point in April and the rate accelerated with the reopening of stores.

“Since reopening we have seen increasing numbers of transactions driven by footfall. The average basket size was initially significantly higher than last year, reflecting some pent-up demand, and while this outperformance has reduced in recent weeks it remains higher than a year ago.

“After a period of store closure we are encouraged by the strength of our sales. In the latest four-week UK market data for sales in all channels Primark achieved our highest ever value and volume shares for this time of year.”

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