Henry Saker-Clark and Simon Neville, PA City Desk
Several new sales records were set in Penneys stores, which operates as Primark outside the Republic of Ireland, following the easing of Covid-19 restrictions, the owner of the retailer said.
Associated British Foods (ABF) revealed that sales for the retailer hit £1.6 billion (€1.8 billion) for the 16 weeks to June 19th, “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 per cent against pre-pandemic levels from the same quarter two years ago.
The retailer started the quarter with only one in five stores trading due to pandemic restrictions, with all of its shops 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.