Why is Primark finally going online?

Primark has finally joined the digital sphere with a trial click and collect service - but why now?

by Éilis Cronin

Clothing giant Primark is set to launch a trial click and collect service for its children’s clothing department later this year, in 25 shops across the North West of England. According to the company’s owner Associated British Foods, Primark saw a “significant business opportunity” to make children’s clothes available through a click and collect service.

George Weston, chief executive of ABF, told the FT that Primark has a strong kidswear business but has been short on in-store space. Offering a click and collect service will fix the space issues and give more shoppers a reason to come into stores more often, he added.

But why has it taken so long to get to this point? Primark has a unique business model that has always seemed to work well, so despite the popularity of online shopping there has never been a need to move into the online sector. Then a deadly pandemic plunged the entire world into lockdown and while other businesses pumped more resources into their online offering, Primark’s stores closed, losing more than £1bn in profit and seeing its shares fall by 3.4%. 

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