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Primark sales hit £1.6bn in Q3 as stores perform ahead of expectations

Lauretta Roberts
01 July 2021

Primark sales hit £1.6bn in the quarter ending 19 June 2021, up 207% on the corresponding period in the prior year when most of its stores had been locked down, due to coronavirus restrictions.

On a two-year comparison, which offers a fairer like-for-like comparison, sales at the value fashion giant were up by 3%.

In a trading update this morning, parent Associated British Foods (ABF) said: "This quarter, sales in the reopened stores were ahead of expectation in all markets, a number of new sales records were set and the like-for-like performance was much improved on earlier periods during this pandemic reflecting an increase in both confidence and willingness to spend by our customers."

However, despite the rising sales, Primark issued a note of caution saying "volatility remains high and performance varied by region depending on the degree of restrictions related to COVID-19."

Given Primark's lack of an online presence its stores have been much in demand when permitted to open and the value retailer said it had gained market share in volume and value in the seven-week period after non-essential retail was permitted to reopen.

During the prolonged periods of retail lockdown over the past year, and with no other channel to clear stock, Primark had amassed a huge amount of inventory. However the company said that, assuming there were no further lockdowns this year, its inventory levels should be at a more normal level by the year end. 

As a result of the positive Q3 performance, ABF has upped its sales forecast for Primark for Q4.

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