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Primark says the comfort wear trend has continued.

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According to Primark, the “comfort wear” trend has continued throughout the summer, with strong sales of leisurewear such as leggings and cycle shorts.

As many people stayed in the UK for their vacations, demand for seam-free matching separates for women increased.

However, sales at Primark were lower than expected, with the “pingdemic” affecting sales in June and July.

Despite this, Associated British Foods, the company that owns Primark, said its profits would exceed expectations.

Changing fashions

Working from home during the coronavirus restrictions increased demand for casual clothing because people no longer had to dress up for the office.

Loungewear, defined as a cross between pyjamas and track suits, has been especially popular, as have athleisure items like matching sets of sports bras, leggings, and hoodies.

To generate sales during the lockdowns, many brands and fashion designers, including London’s fashionable Saville Row tailors, have shifted to creating gymwear and loungewear lines.

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Primark stated that it experienced very strong sales in the third quarter of its fiscal year, which coincided with the relaxation of Covid measures, but that conditions then deteriorated.

“In the United Kingdom, our sales were impacted by the pingdemic, a rapid and significant increase in the number of people required to self-isolate following contact tracing alerts in right after mid-June and early July.” Data show that the caution displayed by many consumers at the time had an impact on High Street footfall.”

However, following the relaxation of self-isolation rules in early August, Primark reported a “consistent improvement throughout the period, from a decline of 24 percent in the first four weeks of the quarter to a decline of 8 percent in the last four weeks.”

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Primark’s sales in the second half of its fiscal year are expected to total £3.4 billion. It reported strong sales of its autumn and winter collections, as well as strong demand for its back-to-school products.

Outside the UK, Primark reported that the August launch of a Covid health pass in France reduced shopper numbers, while travel restrictions impacted sales in Spain and Portugal.

“Even with dwindling in-store sales, Primark has managed to maintain its market share compared to the same period two years ago,” said Gemma Boothroyd, an analyst at investment platform Freetrade.

Given the number of new digital competitors who would have been prepared to steal some of its customers during lockdowns, that is an impressive accomplishment.

Primark is threatened by competition from online fast fashion retailers, who have grown significantly despite coronavirus lockdowns as consumers’ purchasing habits have changed. Added Ms. Boothroyd.

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“[Primark’s] website serves more as a tool for customers to check the inventory of their local stores before visiting them. If anything, this appears to be more likely to lead to a decline in brand sales,” she said.

For the time being, Primark has demonstrated its ability to endure, but if it decides to go digital, it must do so properly. Otherwise, it will be trapped in an omnichannel wasteland.

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