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Dublin: 9 °C Thursday 22 March, 2018

Penneys is the shining jewel in its UK owner's crown

The company has over 10 million sq ft of sales space over 287 stores. That’s a lot of cheap clothes.

Penneys struggled in Autumn, but had a bumper Christmas Penneys struggled in Autumn, but had a bumper Christmas Source: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland

PENNEYS HAD A bumper Christmas with its parent company reporting a big lift in sales over the past four months despite a quiet autumn for the clothes trade.

Its owner Associated British Foods today said sales at Primark, the Dublin-based retail chain which trades as Penneys in Ireland, were up 15% over the 16 weeks to the start of this month when compared to the same time a year earlier.

In a trading update this morning, the parent company said it had experienced “exceptional trading” from Primark’s new stores in France as well as good growth in Ireland, the UK, Spain and Portugal.

The company, like most clothing retailers, had struggled through the autumn after unusually warm weather made people put off buying winter clothes.

As a result, it had been making less money on its sales because it had been forced to offer bigger discounts.

US launch on schedule

Primark has added 0.5 million sq ft of floorspace since November and it said good process had been made ahead of its planned US launch late this year and eight leases had been signed for properties in the country’s northeast.

The Primark retail business is the biggest earner in Associated British Foods’ stable and was the only major wing of the £24.6 billion (€31.8 billion) company to increase sales last financial year.

The grocery trade is the next-largest part of the firm’s empire and includes household names like Twinings tea and Ovaltine.

Since the first Penneys store opened at Dublin in 1969, the company has expanded to 37 outlets across Ireland and a total of 287 across the world for 10.7 million sq ft of trading space.

READ: US clothing brand forced to confirm it’s NOT affiliated with the IRA >

READ: Retailers are really happy with their post-Christmas sales >

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About the author:

Peter Bodkin  / Editor, Fora

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