Clothing & Shoes

Primark predicts £1.1bn sales loss amid store closures

AB Foods warns of a potential £1.1bn sales hit if lockdowns continue through to March

AB Foods, the owner of clothing retailer Primark, has issued a warning of a hit from lost retail sales of more than £1.1bn, if Covid-19 lockdowns continue through to the end of February.

Currently, 305 of its 389 shops around the world are closed which is expected to cost £1.1bn in lost sales, up from the £650m loss forecast at the end of December.

Overall, Primark sales were 30% lower than in the 16 weeks to 2 January compared to the same period last year, with the retailer seeing £540m in lost retail sales from store closures due to Covid restrictions in its key Christmas quarter.

As Primark does not sell online, AB Foods was particularly impacted by the recent wave of Covid-related closures across Europe.

The retailer’s shop closures account for 76% of its current retail space.

AB Foods said: “The impact of store closures on Primark’s performance is significant.

“We now expect full year sales and adjusted operating profit for Primark to be somewhat lower than last year.”

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