Primark has suffered a loss of 540 million pounds (629 million euros) in connection with the lockdowns for the 16 weeks to January 2. This is what the parent company of the fast-fashion retailer, Associated British Foods plc (AB Foods) announced in a trading update.
The company said lost sales could reach £ 1.05 billion if all of Primark’s closed stores remain closed until February 27, 2021, the financial half-year. For the 16 weeks to January 2, 2021, Primark sales were 30 percent lower than last year at constant exchange rates and 28 percent lower at current exchange rates. The period was mainly characterized by the impact of corona measures, according to the press release. The measures vary from limited opening hours to complete closure of shops. “Our estimate for the sales loss during the closing period during these 16 weeks is 540 million pounds (629 million euros),” the report said. Currently 305 Primark stores are closed representing 76 percent of the retail space.
The stores that sold the most were those that were open during the holiday season, the report found. All Christmas and gift lines were sold out and performance for the “stay at home” product categories was strong, especially in nightwear and loungewear. Primark only sells in brick and mortar stores, which means that the store has not been able to compensate for the loss from corona measures through an online offering of its products. The chain has previously said that selling online is not feasible because it couldn’t keep its low price with the added cost of delivery and returns.
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