// Primark will launch a click-and-collect trial from 25 stores in the northwest of England selling children’s products
// The move will “satisfy unfulfilled demand” and will help drive higher footfall and incremental sales in store
Primark is to launch a click-and-collect trial as it takes its long-awaited first steps into online shopping.
The fashion retailer, which currently has a popular non-transactional website, will begin to offer click-and-collect on children’s products towards the end of the year from up to 25 stores in the northwest of England.
It has opted to trial children’s products as it believes it has the potential to “satisfy unfulfilled demand” and would help to drive higher footfall, from both existing and new customers, and incremental sales in stores.
The click-and-collect service will offer 2,000 options across clothing, accessories and lifestyle products.
Around 40% of these options are exclusive to click-and-collect customers.
The retailer said: “The expansion of the offering will be particularly attractive for our customers who do not regularly shop in our larger stores. Our average size stores are only able to stock a limited range and for these customers the number of options available to them will broadly double, increasing even more for customers of our small stores.”
“This trial will enable us to provide more fashion, licence and lifestyle products to more customers and more often.”
The Primark stores included in the trial will have designated collection areas in the heart of the shop. Click-and-collect will be free for customers and returns will also be accepted free of change in stores.
The orders will be processed and dispatched to store from a dedicated UK distribution centre.
Primark’s suppliers will prepare the stock in cartons in a way which will enable simple and efficient picking at the warehouse. The picking and packing will be carried out manually during the trial with plans to automate in the future.
Primak sales rebound
The click-and collect launch comes as Primark sales continue to rebound post-Covid. In its most recent quarter to May 28, sales were up 4% on the same period three years ago. Primark said like-for-likes sales have been improving and were 9% below pre-Covid levels over the quarter.
Total sales jumped 81% to £5.27 billion year on year, as they were up against a period when the majority of stores were closed during lockdown.
Sales for the 36 weeks of its year to date are also favourably skewed because of this, with sales up 69%. Primark is on course to make a full-year adjusted operating profit margin of 10%.
In the UK, Primark said trading was “much improved” with like-for-likes just 4% down on pre-Covid levels, while total sales were up 2%. This is ahead of the 15% decline in like-for-likes three years ago that Primark experienced in Continental Europe over the quarter.
Destination city centre stores improved with a marked return of tourism accompanied by more office working. The retailer said that its UK market share in clothing, footwear and accessories, which covers sales made online and offline, was broadly the same as it was pre-Covid in the most recent quarter.
The retailer’s spring/summer range, which focused on brightly coloured dresses, heels and blouses, were well received and said that sales of holiday essentials and luggage also strengthened over the quarter as customers planned holidays.
It also highlighted the stellar performance of its licensed product as its Stranger Things collection received an “exceptionally strong customer response”.