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Primark agrees to pay for £370 million worth of orders from suppliers

Primark had previously only committed to orders which had been in transit or scheduled to be shipped by 18 March.

Image: Shutterstock/Robson90

RETAIL GIANT PRIMARK has agreed to pay suppliers £370 million for orders up to 17 April, having previously said it would only commit to orders which were in transit or shipped by 18 March. 

It comes following criticism directed towards Primark, which trades as Penneys in Ireland, for cancelling millions of pounds worth of orders. 

Primark is owned by Associated British Foods and currently operates more than 370 stores in 12 countries. 

In a statement, it said: “Primark announces today that it is now able to commit to pay for some £370m (€424m) of additional orders for product over and above the £1.5bn (€1.7bn) of stock in stores, depots and in transit.

“This means it will now take all product that was both in production and finished, and planned for handover by 17 April.”

“This new commitment follows extensive one-to-one conversations with our suppliers, which began four weeks ago and helped us identify mitigating options, including extended payment terms.”

It said the total existing and incoming stock has cost £2 billion despite its stores remaining closed during the global Covid-19 emergency.

Primark’s CEO, Paul Merchant said “transparency and clarity” was at the centre of the negotiations with suppliers in recent weeks. 

“We have been in close and regular contact with our suppliers over the last few weeks to find a way forward, and to pay for as much of the previously ordered product as possible.

“Transparency and clarity have been at the heart of our longstanding relationships with our supply base and we were obviously disappointed that we were not initially able to commit to this stock.”

Retails stores across a number of sectors have been shut worldwide over the past number of weeks under Government restrictions, as nations scramble to mitigate the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus. 

In Europe, countries including Italy and Denmark have slowly begun reopening some sectors after the number of new cases fell by a significant margin. 

Stores in Ireland and the UK are not expected to open until next month at the earliest, with updates expected from governments in both countries at the beginning of May. 

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