Primark pexels

Fast fashion giant Primark has announced plans to open 100 new stores over the next five years, as it banks on a strong sales recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The brand is looking to push further into the US, France, Italy and Spain, increasing the number of stores worldwide to 530 from 398 at present.

“With our current portfolio trading really well, it feels like we’ve established a strong foundation from which to accelerate our expansion in the US market,” Primark CEO Paul Marchant said, as the company plans to increase stores in America to 60 from 13 over five years.

Following the announcement, shares in parent company Associated British Foods leapt six per cent on Tuesday morning, the highest increase on the FTSE 100.

British companies have not always been successful in breaking into the US market, with Tesco and Marks and Spencer being notable examples of retailers that failed to make inroads.

While Primark reported a 12 per cent drop in like-for-like sales from pre-pandemic levels in the year to September 18, this was an improvement on the 24 per cent drop it experienced over the summer.

During the height of the pandemic, the brand’s lack of an online channel cost it £2 billion (€2.3 bn) in lost sales during lockdowns.

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