Primark confirms it's revamping its website - but this is why Primark still doesn't sell clothes online

Primark is finally launching a website where shoppers can see what's in stock at their local store.

By Joe Cooper
Friday, 2nd July 2021, 6:30 pm

It's a big step forward for the clothing giant, which has a store in Leeds city centre and in the White Rose Shopping Centre.

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Customers will be able to browse what is available in the stores, rather than chancing it.

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Primark shoppers queueing up outside the Leeds city centre store.

But sadly, customers will still be unable to order clothing online to be delivered to their homes.

Back in January, Primark said it had no plans to sell its clothes online despite warning that lockdown store closures could cost it more than £1bn in lost sales.

In the past Primark has said it won't sell online because the cost of manning the operation and processing high volumes of returns would mean it could no longer offer low prices, according to the BBC.

Many shoppers will see the new and improved website as a step forward, but others will wonder why Primark won't join the vast majority of big stores which do sell online/

In its latest trading update released earlier this week, the retailer said the new website will launch in 2022.

It said: "The improved functionality of the website will allow us to showcase a much larger proportion of the Primark range and provide to customers range availability by store."

It comes as Associated British Foods (ABF), which runs Primark, revealed several new sales records were set in its stores following the easing of lockdown restrictions.

ABF said sales for the retailer hit £1.6 billion for the 16 weeks to June 19, “reflecting an increase in both confidence and willingness to spend by our customers”.

The discount fashion business saw like-for-like sales rise by 3% against pre-pandemic levels from the same quarter two years ago.

Primark started the quarter with only one in five stores trading due to pandemic restrictions, with all of its stores now reopened.

The group said it was particularly buoyed by “pent-up demand in the early weeks after reopening” and is expecting trading to steady now restrictions have been significantly eased.

In the stock market update, the company said: “The relevance and appeal of our value-for-money offering has been evidenced by the number of customers that have returned to shop in person in our stores, across every one of our markets, each time we have reopened post-lockdown.

“This reopening has also seen a resurgence in demand for fashion across womenswear and menswear, as customers start to step out of lockdown leisurewear.”

ABF bosses said that the firm now expects Primark’s profit for the full year, before the repayment of furlough funds, to be “broadly in line” with last year’s figures.

John Bason, finance director at ABF, told the PA news agency that shoppers were buying more items when they were finally able to return to shops following the latest national lockdown.

He said: “People were filling up their shopping bags so we saw bigger average shops per customer despite those restrictions on capacity.

“I think we’ve seen quite a marked change in what we have been selling as well.”

The company said shoppers have snapped up blazers and licensed clothing, although smart clothing and high heels have seen a slump in sales.