No point in raising Primark prices if consumers are cash strapped – AB Foods boss


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LONDON, November 8 (Reuters)There is no point in raising low prices at fashion retailer Primark when consumers are short on cash, its owner’s boss said on Tuesday, adding that the group could expand its customer base if rivals take an alternative approach.

“With money-hungry consumers, there’s no point,” George Weston, CEO of Associated British Foods ABF.Ltold Reuters.

He said if Primark raised prices further, it would sell less and undermine its value in the eyes of consumers.

“There’s a chance we’ll come out strong with increased market share if others make different pricing decisions,” he said. after AB Foods publishes its annual results.

OEston said Primark shoppers were generally cautious about spending and budgeting.

“People buy essentials when they need them, not in anticipation of needing them,” he said.

However, he noted that cold weather items, such as hats, scarves and coats, and items to keep people warm around the house, such as snuddies and thermal leggings, are selling “incredibly well. , because we think people tried not to turn around.” their central heating on.”

Weston also believes that Christmas sales started earlier.

“People are spreading their Christmas shopping over three or four paydays, rather than relying on cash they have on hand in December,” he said.

He said Primark stores in the UK always performed better than stores in mainland Europe. “Northern Europe has a well-developed habit of saving money when it knows there’s a bill coming, so Germany, the Netherlands, Austria are all lagging behind on the sales front…Spain and Italy are better,” he said.

(Reporting by James Davey, editing by Paul Sandle and Kate Holton)

((james.davey@thomsonreuters.com))

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