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Primark clothing prices will not increase despite inflationary pressures
13 September 2021

The price of Primark clothes will not increase despite rising costs in the supply chain, the finance chief of its parent Associated British Foods (ABF) has said.

John Bason, finance director of ABF, told the PA news agency that shoppers would not pay more for its clothes but there are likely to be price rises within its food business.

The company, which owns grocery brands including Twinings, Kingsmill and Ryvita, said it has seen significant pressure on pricing in its food operation, highlighting that this has pushed the price of its Mazola oil higher.

ABF said Primark had also seen inflationary pressure as “port and container freight disruption” had caused supply issues when transporting its products made in Asia and other regions.

It added that it was experiencing “some delays” to the stock of AW21 season inventory as a result.

However, Bason said the group had “no worries” about stock levels for Christmas and this was not expected to impact upon customers.

“There has been supply chain disruption but our team has worked incredibly hard to mitigate this so I don’t anticipate this being an issue for customers,” he said.

“We are definitely seeing a lot of inflationary pressures in different parts of our supply chain, but there is absolutely no intention to put prices up in Primark because of it.

“Lower staff costs and operating costs have helped us to offset this.”

Bason said the group’s food operation has largely avoided the impact of wider labour and driver issues but said commodity prices have affected some products.

“Primark won’t be affected by price rises, but our food businesses have seen a lot of inflation so this is different in this area of the company,” he said.

“For example, corn prices have risen heavily so our Mazola corn oil has gone up in price.

“We have had to accept that there will be increases in food prices but will continue to do what we can to mitigate the impact on customers.”

The price warning came as the group upgraded its profit guidance but said that recent Primark sales have been below expectations after Covid isolation affected customer sentiment in July.

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