The Irish fast fashion retailer Primark, which is owned by Associated British Foods (ABF), could lose £375 million pounds (€415.9m-$484.0m) in sales due to the closure of stores following restrictions imposed by local authorities throughout Europe to combat the Covid-19 pandemic. The estimate includes a planned lockdown in England.
As of Nov. 2, all Primark stores in the Republic of Ireland, France, Belgium, Wales, Catalonia and Slovenia are temporarily closed, which represent 19 percent of its total retail selling space. The announced period of closure varies by market.
The British government announced its intention to close non-essential shops in England for one month from Nov. 5 to Dec. 2. If the proposal is passed by parliament on Nov. 4, 57 percent of Primark’s total selling space will be temporarily closed from Nov. 5. Trading hours for Primark stores are also restricted in a number of other markets.
ABF said that plans are being developed to manage the consequences of the closures and action will be taken to reduce operating costs. It added that all orders placed with suppliers will be honored.
Separately, Carolyn Fairbairn, director-general of the Confederation of British Industry, warned that a lockdown in England would be “truly devastating for businesses” and urged to ”keep as much of the economy open as possible.”
She described as “unconscionable” to end the Brexit transition period on Dec. 31 without striking a trade deal with the European Union considering the uncertainty caused by the pandemic.