Primark saw its sales fall by thirty per cent in the last quarter. The cut-price fashion chain already published a turnover warning at the end of last year.
Compulsory closures weigh heavily
In the 16 weeks leading up to 2 January, Primark realised a turnover of 2.03 billion pounds (2.28 billion euros). During the same period last year, the chain sold 2.9 billion pounds (3.27 billion euros) worth of fashion items. Needless to say, the retailer suffered heavily from new lockdowns across several countries. Primark estimates it lost 540 million pounds (608 million euros) in sales due to lockdowns over that period.
Performance depended heavily on store type. Stores in retail parks performed better than a year ago. However, stores located in town centres rely heavily on tourists and commuters. Hence, they welcomed significantly fewer customers. During the period in which stores were allowed to reopen, sales were on average 14 per cent lower than a year ago.
Primark has a global network of 389 stores. Of those, 305 are currently closed. In addition to the UK shops, all branches in Germany (32) and the Netherlands (20) are closed. If the current situation continues to the end of February, the damage from store closures will amount to 1.05 billion pounds (1.18 billion euros), the retailer estimates. At the end of last year, the chain warned for additional sales losses. At that time, the company already feared losing 650 million pounds (733 million euros).