Clothing discounter Primark has said it is pleased with its business in Ireland, where it trades as Penneys, without commenting on the impending incursion into the low-cost fashion market by Dealz.
John Bason, finance director of Primark’s owner Associated British Foods (ABF) told the Irish Examiner: “We are very pleased with the development of the Penneys business in Ireland this year. It is the home of ABF’s fashion retail business, which has sales across all markets of some €8 billion.”
Dealz, which is part of the South African parent company Steinhoff and trades in the UK as Poundland, announced recently that it plans to shake up the Irish low-cost fashion sector by introducing the Pep&Co clothing line, which offers items at an average price of €5.
Pep&Co is also owned by Steinhoff and is already available in some Poundland stores in Northern Ireland and Britain.
ABF’s Primark trading division drove the group’s sales over Christmas with a solid overall group sales increase of 4% in the 16 weeks to 6 January.
However, Primark sales for the period were lower than expected at an increase of 7% year on year, at constant currency levels, suggesting that even big fashion retailers are being affected by the rise in e-commerce.
Like-for-like sales in the UK were strong for Primark, while performance on the continent was ‘held back’ due to unseasonably warm weather in October, according to ABF.
"The report joins a raft of disappointing updates from fashion retailers such as H&M and Marks & Spencer, and raises questions over whether Primark should add an e-commerce presence to its network,” Bason said.
“Though Primark doesn’t sell online, it does take advantage of the web,” he added. “In the UK we have a fantastic range of merchandise and we are using social media to engage with customers really well.”
© 2018 - Checkout Magazine by Kevin Duggan