19 stores planned
Primark adding stores in defiance of retail downturn
Bucking the trend: Primark is opening stores (pic: Terry Murden)
Primark continues to buck the retail trend with plans for 19 store openings in the next year.
The chain opened its biggest store in the world in Birmingham and is adding 1 million sq ft of space across the UK and beyond. However, most of the new space will be overseas and there are no plans for additional stores in Scotland.
George Weston, chief executive of parent group Associated British Foods, said: “We expect to open 19 new stores together with a number of relocations and extensions.
“We have been encouraged by our customers’ reaction to our new store in Birmingham High Street which showcases our new food and beverage and beauty services in addition to our full product range,” Weston said.
Primark, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary, saw sales rise 4.2%, while operating profit rose 8%. However, the group’s pre-tax profit fell by 8% to £1.17bn
Mr Weston said: “We continued to pursue the opportunities to grow our businesses with a gross investment of over £800m.
“Next year the group is well-positioned for further progress, with the continued expansion of Primark, a material improvement in our sugar profit and strong profit growth in grocery.”
New UK stores are planned in Belfast, Bluewater (Kent), Hastings, Milton Keynes and Manchester Trafford Centre.