Primark has recorded an uptick in sales of summer holiday gear as consumers gear up for a restriction-free season.


Primark will launch its new website at the end of March

The fashion retailer said sales of luggage and swimwear had risen over the past few weeks, where it had previously dropped dramatically.

Parent company Associated British Food’s finance director John Bason told Retail Week that Primark is anticipating a return in consumer confidence despite the potential cost-of-living crisis.

He said: “I have no doubt that we’re on an improving trend. People are now feeling more confident about going out and about. The things holding people back have dissipated to a very big extent and people are now planning overseas holidays. That drives the spend in apparel. We’re seeing changes in what people are doing in their lives and that has an impact on apparel.

“People are anticipating hot-weather holidays this year. Luggage sales dropped like a stone at the beginning of lockdown. On pre-Covid levels, some of that hot-weather wear, such as swimwear and beachwear, was down 50% last year. There’s less of a fear of planning something that won’t then come off.

“A cost-of-living squeeze is not good for anyone. However, coming out of Covid, for a number of people that are in work, their household finances are way better than they were pre-Covid. The fact that these experiences such as holidays are representing themselves [means that] people are actually prepared to spend.”

An ‘exciting’ new website 

Primark has also set the launch date for its customer-facing website in the UK at the end of March this year, with plans to roll out further versions across all its markets by the end of autumn 2022.

Bason said that the website was an “exciting development” for Primark, which aims to capture customers’ imagination as they make a purchase decision.

He added: “What we want here is an exciting, engaging website that provides a lot of functionality. It will have much richer detail about the products themselves – as we move forward on sustainability, we will certainly feature that.”

The website will also feature a traffic-light system so customers understand availability levels at their local store: green for ‘good availability’, orange for ‘few remaining’ and red for ‘out of stock’.

Bason would not be drawn on whether there was potential for click and collect in the future, but said Primark would see “major benefits” from the wealth of consumer data it could collect from customers browsing the website.

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