‘Fashion is back,’ says boss of Primark owner ABF as sales soar despite cost of living crisis
The Primark owner said ‘fashion is back’ after better-than-expected sales – despite pressure from shoppers amid rising household bills.
Associated British Foods chief financial officer John Bason said demand for work-from-home loungewear has faded and shoppers are now buying heels and blazers to dress up in the office or see friends.
Many Britons have apparently decided that 2023 is the year they will go on holiday abroad again “no matter what” after the pandemic limited international travel for three years, Bason said.
Office workers flocking to city centers means the tailored fashion trend has continued, with a bright orange blazer, priced at £22, proving to be a standout seller among women
Despite sky-high energy and grocery bills, shoppers are still eager for a summer vacation – with sales of bikinis and suitcases booming at the High Street giant.
Luggage sales have broken records as consumers prepare to leave, while sales of men’s colorful swim shorts have also soared.
ABF said footfall in major city centers “remains strong”, with shoppers particularly keen to visit its store in Oxford Street, central London.
Sales are expected to reach £4.2bn for the six months to March 4, 19% ahead of the same period last year.
Trade in the UK was “particularly strong”.
But Primark said it remained “cautious about the resilience of discretionary consumer spending in the face of continued cost-of-living inflation and rising interest rates”.