Jul 3, 2020
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Primark still determined to stay physical, won't go digital

Jul 3, 2020

Not having a webstore during the lockdown may have meant sales losses adding up to hundreds of millions of pounds per month for Primark, but the budget fashion and homewares retail giant remains resistant to the idea of trading online.

Physical shops remain the way forward for Primark, not webstores - Photo: Sandra Halliday

After announcing its latest sales results this week, the finance chief of parent company Associated British Foods said online isn’t the way forward for the retailer.

John Bason said that online has its place wider retail sector but the company is only focused on doing what's right for Primark itself. He also said that online comes with higher costs. The company clearly sees that as another reason for a value-focused retailer to avoid it.

He added that after the initial reopening rush when pent-up demand was causing huge queues outside of the company’s stores, trading has remained strong in its shops.

Primark has consistently said that it won't move online despite regular rumours to the contrary. Some of this determination is bound to be connected to the logistical problems of trading online for a company that's all about fast turnover and very low prices, as well as the higher costs that come with services like home delivery.

However, a number of other retailers operating broadly similar business models have managed the transition to online quite successfully and rumours around Primark have often suggested that it could trade online but focus on a click & collect model only.

But regardless of what analysts think, it seems that for now, the company is fully committed to physical shops only.

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