Primark hit hard by corona

Primark stores

Primark saw its turnover and profits fall sharply in the last financial year. The corona crisis, and more specifically the first lockdown in the spring, weighed heavily on the results of the fashion retailer who does not have a web shop.


Two billion loss of sales

Primark achieved a turnover of 5.9 billion pound (6.5 billion euro) last financial year (which ended 12 September), 24% lower than a year earlier. The loss in turnover was almost entirely due to the spring lockdown. In the first six months of the financial year, revenues of the Irish budget fashion chain increased by 4%.

During the summer, sales recovered well and Primark was able to limit the damage. However, not all shops performed equally well: especially the large city shops, which are highly dependent on tourists and passage, experienced a marked decline in shopper numbers. Branches in the retail parks, on the other hand, saw a rise in turnover.

On the whole, however, since the reopening of the stores, revenues were still well below the level of a year earlier. The decline was 12% in the United Kingdom, 17% in Europe and 10% in the United States. Operating profit was 362 million pound (402 million euro) compared with 913 million pound (1.01 billion euro) last year. The fashion company had already warned of this sharp decline at the beginning of the summer.

In several countries a new lockdown is already in effect (e.g. France, Spain, Belgium...) or has been announced (United Kingdom). This means that 57% of sales space will be temporarily closed again. Primark estimates the loss in sales at 375 million pound (416 million euro). The retailer is one of the few players who does not sell online, so e-commerce cannot compensate for the loss in turnover in physical stores.