Till FY19, the sale numbers were growing steadily but 2020’s pandemic phase pulled them back to FY16 status while Primark’s contribution averaged at 46 per cent (FY16–20).
During Q1 this year, the retail space increased by 0.2 million sq ft with addition of five new stores. As of January 14, 2021, 78 per cent of all stores occupying 76 per cent of total retail space remained closed.
Primark’s founder Arthur Ryan opened the first store in the city of Dublin, Ireland on behalf of the Weston family which founded Associated British Foods (ABF) in 1935. This etched Primark’s existence in ABF. Today, ABF is a diversified international group with sales of £13.9 billion. The group has operations in 53 countries across Europe, Africa, the Americas, Asia and Australia; an employee force of 133,000 people; and owns more than 40 consumer brands, some of which sell in more than 100 countries. The group businesses are organised into five segments: grocery, sugar, agriculture, ingredients and retail backed by common industry expertise, operational capability and market knowledge.
The group’s business model entrusts local heads and teams to take operational decisions with the corporate centre only providing a framework in which they have the freedom and decisionmaking authority to pursue opportunities with entrepreneurial flair. This ensures decisionmaking stays close to the markets and customers, resulting in effective, innovative business solutions.
The calibrated role of centre uses short lines of communication to ensure prompt, incisive and unambiguous decisionmaking. ABF sales and profits respectively grew at a CAGR of 5.6 per cent and 3 per cent in pre-covid years (2016-19).