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Primark could open 24 hours a day after lockdown

PUBLISHED: 15:19 06 November 2020 | UPDATED: 15:19 06 November 2020

Primark was a popular choice with shoppers seeing queues all the way up the high street.   Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Primark was a popular choice with shoppers seeing queues all the way up the high street. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

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Primark stores could reopen 24 hours a day after lockdown, bosses have said - in a bid to recoup the losses from the second coronavirus lockdown.

The chain, which has a store in Ipswich’s Westgate Street, said it would also like to see Sunday trading hours extended to help win back lost revenue.

George Weston - chief executive of Associated British Foods, Primark’s parent company - said: “In some locations, we could even open 24 hours. We know the demand is going to be there.”

Whether or not Primark would need to gain licensing approval to make such a move remains to be seen.

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Primark does not have an online store - and Mr Weston said opening one would not be an option.

“I don’t think click and collect would work,” he said.

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“We have a high footfall, low price model. The logistics would be very difficult.”

The news comes following an update on Monday, when Primark warned that the latest closures are expected to result in a £375million loss of sales ahead of the key Christmas period.

On Tuesday, it told investors it lost around £800 million during the three-month closure from March, as it continued to pay suppliers.

Nevertheless, it reported that sales gradually recovered after the closure period, with sales of children’s clothes, leisurewear and nightwear surpassing pre-Covid levels.

ABF finance chief John Bason has also gave his support to the longer opening hours, saying: “We are absolutely looking at longer opening hours.

“Safety will be paramount and our teams have worked very well to deal with demand and ensure queue management so will continue to work hard to adapt to demand ahead of Christmas.”


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