The much-loved British retailer Primark has taken the long awaited decision to post its inventory online, although the shift to digital stops short of what many, especially in Malta, have long hoped for, with CEO Paul Marchant ruling out deliveries for the time being.
Instead, the budget chain has opted for a click-and-collect system that allows customers to peruse its offering and make their purchases online, only needing to visit the shop to collect their items.
Primark had thus far resisted the pull of providing an online shopping option, even during the COVID-19 pandemic, which saw it lose more than £1bn (€1.14 bn) in sales as its 190 UK stores were forced to close.
The service is currently offered in 25 stores across north-west England on a trial basis. Additionally, it is only available for children’s products. Nonetheless, the launch of the facility proved hugely popular, leading the website to crash.
Mr Marchant said the launch of Primark’s click-and-collect service was a “milestone for us and a really important moment”.
“We’re massive fans of bricks and mortar. We believe in stores and we believe in the High Street. We think click-and-collect is the right proposition,” he told the BBC, adding that the retailer is doing well on the back of the cost of living crisis as customers seek better value.
“I think at Primark, we offer them outstanding value. And I think we are attracting new customers as a consequence of that,” he said.
The chain has also reimagined some of its larger stores, adding additional amenities like cafes, a barber shop, a vintage concession store, and a pop-up space to personalise Primark products.
“We are, I think, the new department store, because I think we offer something for everybody but done in a new and exciting way,” Mr Marchant said.
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