Primark owner Associated British Foods (ABF) has warned that trading at the budget retail chain in the run-up to Christmas has been “challenging”.
The group said that in November the market has been “tough”, but stuck to its expectation for an increase in profits at Primark as a result of careful inventory management and improved margins.
Retailers had been hoping for some festive cheer over the critical Christmas trading period, the high street’s busiest time of year by a distance, following a poor 2018. Several big names have gone bust, with scores of other retailers enacting store closure programmes.
ABF chairman Michael McLintock said that Primark’s expansion will continue, with its 364th store opening in Belfast on Saturday. It follows the destruction of its existing site in a fire in August.
Last month, ABF reported that like-for-like sales at Primark dipped 2.1 per cent in the year to September.