Penneys 'have no plans' to introduce online shopping service contrary to reports
Affordable retailer Primark, which trades as Penneys in Ireland, has denied reports it is planning to introduce a new click and collect online service.
The company, which has 37 stores around the country and a further 350 around the world, is one of the few fashion retailers to not have an e-commerce function available to shoppers. Their website showcases previews of new season collections and in-store arrivals with a strong alliance to their social pages, which have a combined 14 million followers.
Reports circulated on Tuesday, crediting quotes to Primark CEO Paul Merchant speaking to a group of analysts at Davy in a research briefing, that the company was considering introducing a click and collect model linked to its Instagram pages.
A spokesperson for Primark told Independent.ie that, "From time to time we will look at click and collect as one possible option to extend our customer service. However, there are no plans in the near future to trial click and collect.”
They added that the "combination of instore design, shopping experience and amazing prices is what makes Primark so attractive."
In 2013, Primark briefly tested out a partnership with ASOS in which select items were put on sale through the online retailer, but declined to continue past its trial run as profit margins were so low. "The trial has ended and we are exploring our options, but as you can imagine, the margins are so small that it can be difficult to sell a £3 t-shirt when you’re spending the same amount just to ship it," George Weston, the chief executive of Associated British Foods (ABF), the parent company of Primark, said at the time.
"The shipping costs for an online business is the key reason why online-only retailers can’t compete with us."
On Wednesday, Primark's strong sales performance were responsible for ABF's profit jump. The firm, owned by Associated British Foods, saw adjusted operating profit jump 25pc to £426m (€492m) in the six months to March 2, while sales grew 4pc to £3.6bn (€4bn).