Has Primark mulled e-commerce launch, could click-and-collect be the solution?

Primark’s trading update on Thursday raised new questions about whether the brand will ever launch online sales, but while the company has mulled an online debut, it’s not a priority at the moment, a senior exec said after the update.


Primark


Its parent company’s finance director suggested it has looked at selling its budget fashion and homewares online and currently sees no urgent need to pursue this strategy, although he hasn’t ruled it out for the future.

In an interview with MarketWatch, John Bason, finance director of Primark owner Associated British Foods (ABF) said that “we have looked at online. But if we do, it will be a form of e-commerce that complements what we have got.”

Could mean a click-and-collect strategy rather than home delivery? Any option would need to avoid eroding the slim margins on its already-low-priced goods and direct delivery to customers’ addresses adds major costs onto every order. 

Industry watchers have suggested that collection in-store would be the most likely path for Primark to follow and while Bason didn’t confirm or deny that, it’s clear that logistics issues are a major priority for the firm. “It’s about the logistics costs,” said Bason. “Picking, packing and delivering and the cost of all of that.”

However, he also said that there are no immediate plans in place to sell online.

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