Discount Clothing Retailer Primark Makes Move to eCommerce

Primark, click and collect, UK, retail

Primark will be venturing into online shopping with a new “click and collect” feature for children’s products as it looks into moving away from strictly brick-and-mortar retail, the Financial Times reported Monday (June 20).

The click and collect feature will let customers order things online and pick them up from one of the company’s participating stores in the North West of England.

George Weston, CEO of Primark parent company Associated British Foods, called click and collect a “significant business opportunity” for the retailer’s children’s wear section.

“We’ve got a very strong kidswear business but we’ve always been short of space,” Weston said. “We believe this will fix that space problem and give more shoppers more reasons to come to our stores, more often.”

Primark hasn’t been eager to jump into online sales, even despite the hit it took during the 2020 quarantine when in-person shops were closed. Primark is also the only big U.K. retailer not to offer an online service.

Weston did say he didn’t think Primark was going to fully pivot into eCommerce, saying the cost was too high, “the return rate is horrible, and I think it’s environmentally questionable.” However, he said the group was going to look into where it could build on its click and collect offer across other subsets of its business.

Last year, PYMNTS wrote that Primark had plans to boost the number of U.S. locations it has from 13 to 60 in the next five years.

See also: Primark Aims To Quadruple US Store Count

Primark initially debuted in the U.S. in 2015 with a Boston location, and it added a Brooklyn location after that. It’s been adding U.S. locations since, with around a third of its new store openings since 2020 being in America.

At the time, Weston said the U.S. expansion would happen mostly east of the Mississippi River, making for faster shipments from its Pennsylvania warehouse.

See also: PYMNTS’ 2022 Global Digital Shopping Index