PRIMARK branches in Spain have prevented the low-cost fashion firm from going under during the coronavirus pandemic, sales figures reveal.

In a normal year, sales from Spanish outlets would account for about 20% of the chain’s annual turnover.

But as coronavirus restrictions have forced ‘non-essential’ shops all over Europe to close for months at a time – including in the UK, the clothing company’s largest market – Spain has transformed into Primark’s lifeline, with sales from Spanish branches accounting for more than 50% of the retail firm’s turnover between September 2020 and February 2021.

Unlike much of Europe, Spain was only under nationwide lockdown from mid-March to May, 2020, meaning non-essential shops have largely been able to remain open since the middle of last year, regional restrictions permitting.

Consequently, sales in Spain fell by 15% last year, compared to 100% elsewhere in the world. 

Primark has struggled especially during the pandemic because it does not have an online shopping facility, as its strategy centres on increasing its physical presence.

Between this and next year, the Anglo-Irish clothing company is set to open seven new branches in Spain alone, creating some 650 jobs in total.

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