Primark is moving into multichannel retailing with the launch of its first-ever click-and-collect trial later in the year.

Primark fasica

The trial will encompass 2,000 products across clothing, accessories and lifestyle

The fashion giant has chosen an expanded selection of children’s products for the trial, which will be launched from 25 Primark stores across the northwest of the UK “later in the calendar year”. 

The trial will encompass around 2,000 products across clothing, accessories and lifestyle products “which will cater for a broad range of family needs from furnishing a nursery to clothing children of all ages” – of which 40% of products will be offered exclusively to click-and-collect customers. 

Primark noted that click and collect customers will effectively be offered double the range as a purely bricks-and-mortar customer, as “our average size stores are only able to stock a limited range”.

The retailer said the trial “will enable us to provide more fashion, licence and lifestyle products to more customers and more often” and has “the potential to fulfil unsatisfied demand, driving footfall from both existing and new customers to deliver incremental sales in store”.

All click-and-collect orders will be processed from a dedicated distribution warehouse, and suppliers will “prepare the stock in cartons in a way which will enable simple and efficient picking at the distribution centre”.

While order picking and packing during the trial would be manual, Primark said it planned to automate the process in future. It also confirmed orders would be free to collect and customer returns would be accepted free of charge in participating stores. 

Third-quarter sales soar

Primark unveiled its click-and-collect plans as part of its parent-company ABF’s third-quarter financial results update. 

The fashion giant saw year-on-year sales soar as it enjoyed a period where all of its international stores were open and trading without coronavirus restrictions around the world. 

Retail sales for the quarter were up 81% to £1.7bn and up 69% to £5.2bn in the full year to date. 

Primark said UK trading for the period was up 61% year-on-year and 2% ahead of pre-pandemic levels. The retailer noted that city centre stores improved with a “marked return of tourism accompanied by more office working”.

Sales in continental Europe were up 106% ahead of last year and 7% on a three-year pre-pandemic comparison, while total sales in the US in the quarter were 34% ahead of pre-Covid levels with the benefit of new store openings.

• Never miss a story – sign up to Retail Week’s breaking news alerts