Primark has recovered well this autumn after a slow start. The fast-fashion chain continues to open new shops in order to compensate a lower like-for-like growth.
Growth through expansion Groei door expansie
Due to the warm September weather, autumn sales got off to a slow start, Primark says. However, the fast-fashion chain managed to catch up: a trading update for the sixteen weeks to 6 January reported a sales rise of 7.3 % to 3.38 billion pounds (3.9 billion euros) in the period. Eliminating exchange rate effects, growth was even 7.9 %.
Christmas sales were particularly strong, as were leisurewear sales and the collection featuring singer Rita Ora. Growth mainly came courtesy of opening of new shops, though: comparable sales rose only by 2.1 % – and that only because of price increases. British comparable sales growth was 3.8 %; in Europe, comparable sales climbed only 1.3 %.
In Europe, performance was mixed, owner AB Foods had to admit: some countries performed well, while other markets suffered from a combination of a strong comparable base in the same period last year and local economic conditions. Overall, European sales were up 8.1 %.
Last autumn, Primark opened eight new shops: three in France and in the United States and one each in Poland and Spain. The chain is also pleased with its inventory levels and continues to monitor the situation in the Red Sea, but does not expect any significant supply chain disruption at this stage.