Value fashion powerhouse Primark takes to the City catwalk this morning with a pre-close update ahead of next month’s interims.

With no online transactional business and continued bricks-and-mortar expansion – it expects to add 1.3 million sq ft of space this year – Primark is in some ways an atypical apparel player.

But the trading statement will nevertheless provide a must-read barometer on the clothing market, including how currency volatility is playing out.

The retailer said in January that it expected a lower operating profit margin as the year progresses, “reflecting the strength of the US dollar on input costs”.

However, like-for-like sales in the UK were “good” over Christmas and Primark reported that it had won further market share.

International growth is increasingly important at Primark and, amid continued political and economic uncertainty, it will be interesting to hear how business is going in overseas markets, including the nascent US division.

Also reporting this morning is McColl’s, the newsagent and convenience group, which will unveil its full-year results.

The retailer reached its target of 1,000 convenience stores late last year and, after buying 298 former Co-op shops, it aims to convert them all by the end of August.

In its most recent update, McColl’s said total sales for the 2016 year were anticipated to be up 1.9%, and the results should be in line with management expectations.

All the best for a successful week’s trading.

George MacDonald, Executive Editor