The ongoing pandemic has caused a seismic shift in the retail industry, with consumers around the world turning to online shopping to get the products they need. Companies that have traditionally relied on brick-and-mortar stores to generate revenue have had to quickly adapt to the new reality, shifting their focus to digital channels.
However, one UK-based retailer is resisting the move to e-commerce, choosing instead to stay the course and focus on its existing physical stores. Primark, the discount clothing retailer, has announced that it has no plans to launch an online shop, despite the pandemic’s devastating effect on the retail sector.
The move has been met with surprise and criticism in some quarters, with many pointing out that online retail has become increasingly important in the current environment. But Primark is standing firm, arguing that its existing business model is the best way to serve its customers and remain successful long-term.
The company has argued that its current strategy, which relies on low prices and a vast physical store network, is what sets it apart from its competitors. It believes that physical stores are an important part of the customer experience, allowing them to touch and feel the clothing before making a purchase.
Primark has also stated that it does not want to compromise its low prices by adding the cost of shipping, packaging, and processing orders to its prices. The company believes that adding these costs would raise prices to a level where customers would no longer be able to access affordable clothing.
Primark believes that physical stores are the best way to reach its core customer base, which is primarily made up of young people who are often underserved by the traditional retail industry. By continuing to focus on its existing stores, Primark can stay true to its mission of making clothing accessible to everyone.
Despite the criticism, Primark’s decision to resist the move to e-commerce seems to be paying off. The company has seen strong sales in recent months, with profits up 24% in the first half of the year. It appears that customers are still willing to visit physical stores, and Primark’s low prices and large selection have been drawing them in.
The company has also been rolling out safety measures in its stores, including contactless payment, social distancing, and the use of face masks. These measures have been successful in keeping customers and workers safe while also boosting sales.
It’s clear that Primark’s decision to stick with its traditional business model is paying off. While the move may seem counterintuitive in the current environment, the company’s focus on affordability and accessibility appears to be resonating with customers. For now, at least, it looks like Primark’s “get over it” approach is working.