The Primark logo is seen on the windows of Primark’s new Spanish flagship store in Madrid, Spain, October 15, 2015. REUTERS/Andrea Comas

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  • To test Click & Collect on children’s products
  • Primark sales up 81% in third quarter
  • Parent company AB Foods sales up 32%
  • Orientations for the whole year maintained

LONDON, June 20 (Reuters) – Budget fashion chain Primark will test a Click & Collect service for children’s goods in the UK, but said the move should not be seen as a precursor to a delivery offer on line.

Parent Associated British Foods (ABF.L) said on Monday the Click & Collect trial will take place in up to 25 stores in the North West of England towards the end of the year.

The service will expand to offer customers an expanded range of 2,000 options across children’s clothing, accessories and lifestyle products. Around 40% will be exclusive to Click & Collect.

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Primark believes the service has the potential to satisfy unmet demand, attracting existing and new customers to drive additional in-store sales.

“What we are trying to do is use Click & Collect to increase supply in the category where we are very strong but still limited,” AB Foods CEO George told Reuters. Weston.

“We will give shoppers more reasons to buy more products and visit our stores more often.”

If the trial is conclusive, the child offer will be rolled out nationwide. Other product categories could then follow.

The move builds on Primark’s improved digital capability, as its website was revamped earlier this year. Read more

But Weston said home delivery remains off Primark’s agenda because the economy is not accumulating for its low prices.

“We think it’s very expensive, inefficient and environmentally unfriendly,” he said.

Shares of AB Foods rose 0.2% at 09:11 GMT.

The group, which also owns major sugar, grocery, agriculture and ingredients businesses, maintained its full-year guidance after trading in line with expectations during its third quarter in May 28.

The group’s turnover increased by 32%. Sales in its food business increased 10%, reflecting pricing actions to recover from input cost inflation and volume increases in the ingredients business.

Primark sales increased by 81%. All Primark stores were swapped during the period, unlike last year when most stores were closed until mid-April due to COVID-19 closures.

Primark’s UK sales rose 61% and were 2% above pre-COVID levels three years ago.

AB Foods chief financial officer John Bason expects Primark’s UK performance to improve further in the fourth quarter, with little impact from the cost of living crisis so far.

“Frankly, in our conversations right now, I don’t think we’re seeing too much evidence of that,” he said, pointing to strong sales of swimwear, flip flops and beach towels.

The group expects “significant progress” in adjusted operating profit for the full year.

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Reporting by James Davey; edited by Kate Holton and Ed Osmond

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.