‘Fashion is back’, says boss of Primark owner ABF as sales soar despite the cost of living crunch
Primark’s owner has declared that ‘fashion is back’ after better-than expected sales – despite shoppers facing pressure from rising household bills.
Associated British Foods finance director John Bason says demand for work-from-home loungewear has faded and shoppers are now picking up heels and blazers to dress for the office or see friends.
Many Brits have seemingly decided that 2023 is the year they will go abroad on holiday again ‘come what may’ after the pandemic limited international travel for three years, Bason said.
Office workers flocking back to city centres means a tailored fashion trend has continued, with a bright orange blazer, priced at £22, proving to be a stand-out seller among women
Despite eye-watering energy and grocery bills, shoppers are still eager for a summer holiday – with sales of bikinis and suitcases soaring at the High Street giant.
Luggage sales have smashed records as consumers prepare for trips away, while sales of men’s colourful swim shorts have also surged.
ABF said footfall in major city centres ‘remains strong’, with shoppers particularly keen to flock to its Oxford Street store in central London.
Sales are expected to come in at £4.2billion for the six months to March 4 – 19 per cent ahead of the same period last year.
Trading in the UK has been ‘particularly strong’.
But Primark said it remained ‘cautious about the resilience of consumer discretionary spending in the face of continuing inflation in the cost of living and higher interest rates’.