Primark posts strong third quarter sales uplift as it announces click & collect trial
Primark owner Associated British Foods has said sales at the retailer were 81% ahead of last year in its third quarter due to all shops being open following the easing of Covid-19 restrictions.
This contrasts with the corresponding period last year when the majority of stores were closed until the middle of April. In addition, sales in the quarter were 4% higher than the comparable pre-Covid period three years ago.
ABF said like-for-like sales in the UK and Ireland improved markedly, although trading in continental Europe only started to improve at the end of the quarter following the removal of remaining Covid restrictions.
Looking specifically at the UK, total sales in the quarter were well ahead of last year with a 61% increase, and 2% ahead of pre-Covid levels three years ago. Meanwhile like-for-like sales were 4% below.
The company said the retailer’s spring/summer women’s fashion ranges, which include brightly coloured dresses, heels and blouses. have been well received by customers. In addition, Primark stores in city centres have benefited from a marked return of tourism and people moving back to office working.
As a result of the performance, ABF said Primark remains on track to deliver a full year adjusted operating profit margin of some 10%.
The company said the April launch of Primark’s expanded website had gone well, with traffic now up by around 60%. It revealed that customers on average are viewing twice as many pages per session, and almost 15% of visitors to the site are using the retailer’s new stock checker facility.
Primark will be launching a trial click & collect service in the UK towards the end of the year which will take place in up to 25 stores in the northwest. ABF said: “We have chosen a much expanded range of children’s products for this trial, which we believe has the potential to satisfy unfulfilled demand, driving footfall from both existing and new customers to deliver incremental sales in store.”
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