Primark sales up 36% in run-up to Christmas as the retailer announces 400 UK job cuts
Primark grew its total sales by 36% year-on-year in the 16 weeks to 8 January despite the impact of the Omicron Covid-19 variant on footfall.
The discount fashion retailer’s owner Associated British Foods said sales in UK stores were well ahead of last year, although like-for-like sales were 10% below two years ago, but improved in the final quarter of the financial year.
In the UK, stores in retail parks and town centres continued to outperform destination city centre stores with like-for-like sales in retail parks ahead of pre-Covid levels.
Meanwhile, sales in continental Europe were also up on the same time last year, but like-for-likes sales were down 14% on two years ago as footfall was impacted by the emergence of Omicron.
ABF said its US business was the standout performer with 4% like-for-like sales growth in the period compared to pre-Covid levels.
Total Primark sales in the 16 weeks were 5% lower than pre-Covid levels two years ago. Meanwhile, like-for-like sales were 11% below.
ABF said the supply chain disruption seen in the autumn has now eased, although it is still experiencing some delays in dispatch at ports of origin and expects longer shipping times to continue for some time.
Primark is planning to launch a new improved customer-facing website in the UK by the end of March, which ABF said is on track. The site will enable the retailer to showcase “many more” products and will provide customers with information on product availability by store.
The news comes as Primark announced that it is planning to cut 400 jobs in UK stores as part of a revamp of its retail management team.
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