Crisis, what crisis? Primark proves high street isn't dead

Budget store defies gloomy outlook for British retail with 23 per cent sales boost

LAST UPDATED AT 10:07 ON Tue 26 Feb 2013

PRIMARK is set to announce that its sales have increased by 23 per cent over the last six months despite a gloomy outlook for most of the high street. 
 
The budget clothing chain anticipates a like-for-like growth rate of seven per cent, The Guardian notes. John Bason, finance director of Primark's owner, Associated British Foods, said he knew "many people would kill for growth like that".

Bason sais he was confident the high street would "regenerate", as he put it. "I would be amazed if anybody is calling the end of the high street. The shape of the high street will change, but as it always has done. In Western Europe, people are careful with the way they spend but Primark is offering such great value it is continuing to benefit," he said.
 
For analyst Peter Saville, Primark's success defies conventional wisdom in the retail industry as the chain has no online business at all. "Whilst the rest of the retail world is obsessing over online selling and multichannel strategies, Primark is powering ahead", he said.

Primark has opened 15 new stores in the past six months, despite the downturn in the rest of Europe, including six in Spain and four in the UK but the pace of new openings is set to slow.
 
The Primark results come after a calamitous few months with HMV, Jessops, Blockbusters and fashion chain Republic all entering administration in the post-Christmas period. The British Retail Consortium has called on Chancellor George Osborne to take urgent measures to rescue the high street in next month's Budget.
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