Primark refuses to evolve into ecommerce business, according to boss

Primark owner, Associated British Foods’ CEO George Weston has said that the fast fashion giant has not been persuaded to switch to online shopping despite the closure of physical stores costing the business £100 million each week.

Weston told the Financial Times that Primark “is and always has been a high street retailer.”

“At our price points and our basket sizes [online] doesn’t just take some of the margin, it takes all of it,” he said.

Despite its refusal to become an ecommerce business, the retailer did launch its first click and collect service in the lead up to Christmas.

Customers in the North West of England, Yorkshire and North Wales are now able to shop online from a range of items ranging across child’s clothing and nursery products, before collecting at a nominated store on a chosen date.

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At the time of the launch of the service, Primark CEO Paul Marchant said: “This trial showcases the very best that Primark has to offer across kidswear, combining much more choice, great style and incredible value.

“We’re big fans of the high street and we believe passionately that a thriving local shopping area benefits everyone in the community.

“Our approach to online is all about supporting and complementing our stores, which will always be at the heart of our business.

“The trial offers the convenience of browsing and shopping from the comfort of your home, while also providing customers living near one of our smaller stores, like Wallasey, as big a range as on offer in a much larger store like Liverpool. Everyone, no matter their local store, will get access to lots of exclusive new products.”

Since the success of the service, Primark has teased a click and collect extension, however it sees it more as a “top-up” offering.



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