Primark names four quietest UK stores since reopening in June as sales drop
7 September 2020, 10:28 | Updated: 7 September 2020, 10:32
The quietest Primark stores in the UK have been named, with shopping centres and regional high streets taking a hit.
With clothing stores opening their doors back in June, millions of people rushed back to the high street to bag a bargain.
But now Primark has revealed its sales are down 12% since last year, with the largest stores in major cities being hit by a significant reduction in footfall.
And the stores which have seen the lowest customer numbers are London's Oxford Street, Manchester, Birmingham and Edinburgh.
Despite this, Primark said sales at stores in retail parks have been higher than last year, while shopping centre and regional high street stores are in line with their average.
Primark owner Associated British Foods said in a statement: "By store the performance has varied, reflecting the current circumstances of our customers including increased home working, less commuting and much less tourism.
"Sales at our stores in retail parks are higher than a year ago. Shopping centre and regional high street stores are broadly in line with last year and large destination city centre stores, which are heavily reliant on tourism and commuters, have seen a significant decline in footfall."
People are also buying more each time they visit Primark, with the statement adding: "The average basket size was initially significantly higher than last year, reflecting some pent-up demand, and while this outperformance has reduced in recent weeks it remains higher than a year ago.”
There are more than 350 Primark stores in the world, with 189 in the UK.
The company has had to put more stringent social distancing measures in place following the pandemic, with hand sanitising stations and a capacity reduction.
Primark said: "We are prioritising the health and wellbeing of everyone in store and have received positive feedback from our customers about the safety measures in place and the welcoming store environment.
"We are working constantly to optimise the implementation of in-store safety measures and have recently installed additional dividers at the tills in our 250 busiest stores which has enabled more tills to be opened and has reduced queues."
This comes after shoppers were seen queuing for hours when shops re-opened on June 15th.
Images show lines of people waiting outside branches, with shoppers being separated by queue markers to ensure they are two metres apart and adhering to social distancing rules.
At the flagship store in Birmingham, customers were seen stopping there overnight to be first through the doors, which forced the store to let shoppers in half an hour early.
One woman admitted she had woken up at 4:30am to be the first person in the queue, as she told the publication she had arrived at the store to start queuing from 6.45am.