Jobs to go at Primark but UK confidence set to boom say bosses


ROUND 400 store management jobs are to go at Primark as the company moves to “simplify” its operations.

Parent company ABF is in consultation with the affected staff – it employs 29,000 in all.

That news came as Primark reported sales up 36% in the quarter to January, compared to a year ago. Sales are down 11% on a like for like basis compared to two years ago, however.

Retail analyst Nick Bubb said: “Primark was again disadvantaged by the swing back to online spending in the Omicron surge, but its stores are still popular shopping venues.”

ABF finance chief John Bason reckons the shops are poised to go boom. He told the Standard: “The UK in particular seeing a pick-up in consumer confidence. The Omicron thing was a bump, but the removal of restrictions will improve confidence, we will see more people back in the office and planning for holidays”

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He added: “Don’t underestimate the effect of that, people have been putting that off for two years.”

The food arm, which includes Silver Spoon sugar and Twinings tea, is seeing “a lot of inflation” he admitted, some of which is bound to be passed on.

Laura Hoy at Hargreaves Lansdown said:

“Primark-owner ABF’s diversified business offered a safety net throughout the pandemic, but as things normalise all eyes are on retail for signs of a comeback. Compared to last year, when store closures kept sales painfully low, revenue rose considerably. But sales at Primark have yet to make their way to pre-pandemic levels.

ABF shares slipped 38p to 2093p.