The low-cost fashion retailer hit shop closures harder than competitors because it doesn’t sell online.
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As more stores are forced to close due to new regulations to monitor the spread of Covid-19 in the UK, Primark has announced it will lose an extra £ 220 million in revenue. Related British Foods, the owner of the low-cost fashion chain, said it expects to lose £ 650 million in revenue in the year to September, more than the £ 430 million reported on Dec. 4, after the government said major cities such as Manchester and Birmingham will have to close unnecessary stores along with London and England’s southeast. From January 1, 253 of Primark’s stores will now be temporarily closed, representing just over two-thirds of the company’s worldwide stores. The update comes at a time when retailers face more pain after the government revealed that from Thursday morning, the entire northeast of England, Greater Manchester, large parts of the Midlands and the southwest will fall under the toughest Level 4 restrictions. The toughest restrictions already extend to the entire Scottish mainland, Wales and Northern Ireland, including closure. The restrictions were extended in response to a new Covid-19 version that led to a record increase in infections across the nation. According to the high street tracker from consultancy firm BDO, the number of shoppers out and about last week plummeted 46 percent compared to the same time in 2019. Online revenues were up 50 percent, but it wasn’t enough to compensate for the drop in shops. Total sales dropped 23 percent at existing retailers. As it does not offer merchandise online, Primark has been hit harder by store closures than any of its rivals. When the chain reopened in England after a month-long closure earlier this month, it said it saw “phenomenal” sales growth. Overnight, eleven shops remained open, resulting in a 40-hour trading marathon, and customers queued to get into the stores until the early hours of the morning.