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PRIMARK HINTS AT BIG LOSSES DUE TO EXTENDED LOCKDOWN

PRIMARK HINTS AT BIG LOSSES DUE TO EXTENDED LOCKDOWN

LOSSES TO REACH £1.05 BILLION

Primark parent company AB Foods has warned of a hit from lost retail sales of more than £1 billion if Covid lockdowns force its stores to stay closed until the end of February.

The budget fashion retailer said 305 of its 389 shops around the world are currently shut, which is expected to cost it £1.05 billion in lost sales – up from the £650 million hit forecast at the end of December.

However, it said it could be facing a £1.85 billion sales impact if its entire store estate has to close and remain shut until the end of March, knocking profits by a further £300 million.

Primark has already seen £540 million in lost retail sales from store closures due to Covid restrictions in its key Christmas quarter, with sales slumping 30 per cent in the 16 weeks to January 2.

Current shop closures account for around 76 per cent of its retail selling space.

Despite the woes, it opened another five shops over its festive quarter and pledged to “continue to expand retail selling space”.

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