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Gloucestershire Business News

Primark set to lose over £1bn in sales

Value fashion retailer Primark is set to lose more than £1 billion in sales, if Covid lockdowns force its stores to stay closed until the end of February.

Primark said 305 of its 389 shops around the world are currently closed, which is expected to cost £1.05 billion in lost sales - a big rise on the £650 million loss forecast at the end of December, as reported by Retail Gazette.

Owner AB Foods, which operates 190 Primark shops in the UK including stores in Cheltenham and Gloucester, now expects to see half-year underlying earnings wiped out.

The situation could get worse if stores are forced to stay shut for longer. Primark could be facing a £1.85 billion sales hits if its entire store estate has to stay closed until the end of March.

Primark has already seen £540 million in lost sales from store closures due to Covid restrictions during the all-important Christmas quarter. Sales fell 30 per cent in the 16 weeks to 2nd January.

It was hit particularly hard by the November lockdown in England, as well as restrictions across Europe, because it was one of the very few companies which doesn't sell online.

However, the company said trading was strong while stores were open. Stores at retail parks accessible by car weren't hit as badly as those on high streets and in shopping centres.

Primark has been able to offset some of the cost of lost trade with 25 per cent savings on overheads due to store closures.

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