Your browser is no longer supported. For the best experience of this website, please upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Smart buying got us back on track, says Primark finance boss

Sales at Primark have recovered after a “difficult” Christmas trading period thanks to tighter buying and the popularity of transitional pieces, John Bason,  finance director of its parent company, Associated British Foods, said this week.

Primark spring 16

Primark spring 16

The value retailer said sales are forecast to be up 7.5% on a constant currency basis for the six months to February 27. Like-for-like sales are expected to be level with 2015 after business picked up following its post-Christmas trading update in January.

Bason said the unseasonably warm weather in the run-up to Christmas led to a period of “weak” trading, but this was carefully managed by Primark’s buying team.

“They were able to manage it,” he told Drapers. “Sales were disappointing pre-Christmas, but the fact that we don’t have a bigger stock inventory to shift through markdown now reflects the work of the buying team. We are pleased with the way our strategy has worked.”

Bason added that transitional pieces, such as jersey and denim, are performing “really well” so far in 2016.

Internationally, the French market was “buoyant” and like-for-like sales were strong. Trading at its two new stores in the US have been “encouraging” as the range and concept have been well received, Associated British Foods said. It will open a further six stores in the US later this year and a 70,000 sq ft store in the American Dream shopping mall in New Jersey in 2017.

Over the last six months Primark has opened six new stores, including a 133,000 sq ft unit on Gran Via in central Madrid in October.

The retailer will also open its first Italian store in Arese, northwest of Milan, in April and it is planning to open in a mall north of Florence by the summer of 2017.

Bason said the retailer will focus on expanding its retail footprint in its current markets and Italy, rather than launching into any more new territories this year.

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.