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Gloucestershire Business News

Primark predicts £1.5bn sales slump from covid store closures

In-store only fast fashion chain Primark's lost sales are expected to pass £1.5 billion, due to store closures due to lockdown.

Owners of the business, Associated British Foods, which continues to dismiss the idea of trading online, said that group sales and adjusted operating profits would be lower than last year for the six months to February 27.

Temporary closure of stores due to the pandemic are expected to have severely impacted Primark's performance with sales of £2.2billion predicted - a drop of almost 40 per cent on the same period last year.

ABF forecast that continued disruption over the coming months into its second half of the financial year to August could result in a £480million hit to Primark's sales.

However, it said it planned for 83 per cent of its store estate to be back open by April 26, and this would cause a surge in sales similar to previous lockdown easing.

A statement read: "We are looking forward to the reopening of the Primark estate. As of today, we have likely reopening dates for 233 stores in addition to the 77 stores already open, so that 83% of our retail selling space should be trading by 26 April.

"Our stores will be offering exciting seasonal ranges for spring/summer and we have been placing orders for merchandise with a long lead time for the autumn/winter season. We expect the period after reopening to be highly cash generative."

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